Good day to you, fellow Nicotine Freaks!
An Island in the North
There is an island I'm going to tell you about. Don't worry. It's not another Greek island, I promise. If you're not from Scandinavia, you've probably not heard of this one. I am well aware that there are many many beautiful islands in the colder northerly climes of Scandinavia. One of these is Sweden's Gotland. Now you have heard of it. (and so have I...!)
Lying peacefully in heart of the deep blue waters of the Baltic sea, nestled between Sweden, the 'Baltic Tigers' and Finland, the beautiful island of Gotland has a population of 60,000, increasing ten-fold during the summer. This speaks volumes.
In addition to some rather mighty and imposing historical fortifications, the island is also home to Gotlandssnuss AB, busily manufacturing snus since 2000 (where did those 20 years go?!). After Googling pictures of the island, sign me up for a visit. Without a doubt I'd be sure to drop into the office and factory to say hello to Henrik, Håkan and the rest of the team at Gotlandsnuss as well.
The company story begins not in mum's basement or in a garage, but in CEO Mr Henrick Jacobsson's kitchen. The kitchen can be a great place for creativity, especially if you stay well away from the microwave. So why not!?
Rome was of course not built in a day, and neither was Gotlandssnuss AB. After several years, the business gained enough traction and opened a permanent manufacturing facility in Roma on Gotland. By 2013, they'd gone further, winning the prestigious Dagens award for the fastest growing company in Sweden. An impressive feat. At the time of writing, entering 2021, Gotlandsnuss AB manufactures some 15,000 cans of snus products every day, exporting them to markets all over the world. On such a trajectory, the future looks bright for them.
The 'Swave' Brand
With 20 years of producing tobacco snus pouches under its belt, the company now dives into the 'tobacco-free' all-white nicotine pouch arena. Under the brand name 'Swave', these tobacco-free pouches are legal for retail in the United Kingdom, the member-states of the European Union and beyond. Big market opportunities therefore await.
Currently available in two flavours 'Daiquiri' and 'Tropic Spritz', today we will be presenting and sampling 'Tropic Spritz' for you - Nicotine Freak's review of 'Daiquiri' is in the pipeline, so keep an eye on our site and @nicotinefreakuk on Instagram for our announcements on that one and much more Nicotine Freak content besides!
Let's kick off with 'Tropic Spritz' then, a taste of the tropics from the not so tropical, but no less beautiful island of Gotland.
'Tropic Spritz' comes in well-built fully recyclable cans with a typical lid for pouch disposal while you're on the go. On the inside of the lid is a rather nice 3D imprint that resembles a compass. Having grown up in Britain, an island maritime nation, this symbolism is quite recognisable and I'd hazard a guess it reflects this Swedish isles' own maritime legacy and oceanic surroundings. Nice touch.
The 20 pouches in each can weigh in at 16g and are seemingly neither 'wet' nor 'dry'. They land somewhere in the middle and do not slip on the gums. In terms of colour, they're a very light beige with an ever so subtle reddish hue, at least to my eyes and in the image above.
After a couple of minutes, a gentle overtone of pineapple juice made its case - refreshing and slightly sweet without being overwhelming in anyway. At 10mg in strength, these should suit most users for a good 20 minutes or so. Overall, a pleasant pouch. If anything, the flavouring could be a bit stronger - it was tasty, that's why - I don't know many people who dislike pineapple. Flavouring is subjective at the end of the day but pineapple is what struck me most of all with maybe a bit of melon in there.
Alternative Zip-Lock Reduced Plastic Packaging
Swave is also sold in durable zip-lock bags which contain 82% less plastic than regular nicotine pouch tubs. We all want less plastic in the world. This an excellent initiative which other brands are offering and which we very much hope all brands will implement as well.
Consider how coffee pods like Nespresso received much criticism for polluting the planet as a result of the billions of cups of espresso churning out of them on a daily basis. Now they are generally all collected and recycled, or biodegradable.
On the plastic issue, the nicotine/snus/CBD pouch industry has an opportunity to get it right from the outset - it will look good to the regulators and also the usual naysayer types too. I admit, as empty cans pile up, I do feel a bit guilty, a bit like buying plastic bottled water.
As much as possible must be done to ensure environmentally packaging methods are used in the industry. Recyclable cans are already common on the market and zip lock bags which can also be recycled are increasingly common, allowing you to reuse the original can or fill your own metal can (which are cropping up on the market). All in all, this is an excellent step in the right direction.
New Flavours in 2021
I will not take the liberty to reveal what they are - that is for the Gotlandsnuss team. I have it on good authority, however, that we are to see the release of new exciting flavours as we progress into 2021 - and they sound great. Nicotine Freak will hopefully be first in line to review them for you, our readers!
If Gotland's current solid debut duet of 'Daiquiri' and 'Tropic Spritz' are anything to go by, we await these new additions with great anticipation.
Wherever you are reading from, have an excellent day from Nicotine Freak and keep an eye out for our 'Daiquiri' review!