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Can you believe that the General blend incorporates 22 different types of tobacco? The smallest drop of bergamot oil is added to this blend leaving you with a perfect mixture that took around 1500 days to get right. The recipe was developed in Gothenburg, Sweden over 160 years ago, and General snus has been the original gold standard of snus since then.
When you think about the Vikings, pillaging and burning are probably some of the first things that come to mind, but these original Scandinavians were actually much more into trade – which centered around the port and the growing town that later became Gothenburg. A mere 3768 miles separate Gothenburg from New York, and that famous Swedish port was the starting point for the journeys of the 1.3 million Swedes who emigrated to America. The mood in Gothenburg has always been innovative – with entrepreneurs who found new ways of making cars, ball bearings, cameras (to name just some of the famous Swedish products) being based there. One of the brilliant inventors who lived in Gothenburg was called Johan A Boman.
Mr Boman had both an extraordinary sense of smell and a taste for the luxuries that life can provide. He was extremely patient and developed his almost magic ability for blending aromas to its utmost limit in the 1500 days he spent on the recipe for the Swedish snus that would later come to be known as General – still made from the same recipe even now. The precious recipe included 22 types of tobacco from famous plantations around the world, as well as the addition of a few drops of bergamot oil. This fragrant oil comes from the skin of citrus fruit but is sweeter than lemon and gives General snus its distinctive flavor.
After perfecting the recipe in 1850, news of this innovative new snus spread far and wide, but problems with production faced Mr Boman. His delicious new snus was still blended by hand in old kitchen jars from his Gothenburg shop, but the craze for the new blend led to him taking over a tobacco factory and employing more workers to produce the General blend. The Boman family continued to run and operate the factory until 1915 which was when all tobacco production facilities were seized by the Swedish state to pay for the first pension reform and national defense. Tobacco products were on of the most profitable businesses at the time and an obvious choice. This state of affairs continued until 1967 when the Swedish state relinquished control of production and the General snus brand, and the company now called Swedish Match took over. General snus is still known as the world’s premium snus brand.
The Original, The Best. A written history of General Snus could fill volumes. It’s best to accept the brand for what it is – the absolute top – and leave it there.
However, one of the interesting developments in the history of General Snus was its transition from a common, general snus brand to the very topmost one – something that happened entirely spontaneously. From the start, there was no marketing of the brand, which was in keeping with the Swedish culture, whose people prefer solid action over empty words. General Snus has attained and held its top position partly thanks to its history and heritage, but mostly thanks to the simply divine recipe on which it is based.
Any snus product begins in the soil that grows the tobacco. Swedish Match invests plenty into laboratories for analyzing soil samples taken from the plantations where tobacco is grown. They have experimented plenty with cultivating tobacco in different countries with different soil and weather conditions to try and get the best possible raw material for their snus products. If a certain region is declared to have good soil for growing tobacco, it is planted and the growing plants are monitored carefully. Tobacco types are selected according to the type of seeds, the region, climate, leaf positions on the plant and the conditions for curing the leaves after growing them. Regular visits by Swedish Match representatives check that the crops are growing well and that they will meet the required standards. The reason for all of the checks and monitoring is to ensure that the tobacco used as a component of the Swedish Match blend contains the lowest possible concentration of unwanted compounds. Quality control is a key factor throughout the entire process, from before the tobacco is even planted to the harvesting process when the leaves are taken to be cured in the ideal conditions inside the curing factory.
The first step to making snus is to grind the tobacco into fine grounds. Each snus brand will have different specifications for the size of the particles. After this comes the blending process, which could involve anything from 10 to 30 types of tobacco, along with water and salt. Heat treatment – also called pasteurization – is the next step, to kill any microorganisms in the tobacco. After cooling, flavors such as spices, oils or even alcoholic substances are added to give the snus its particular character. Later comes the packaging process where loose snus can be added directly to cans, or portion snus is divided and wrapped in the well-known pouches. Swedish Match works on a zero tolerance basis, ensuring and each and every step of the production process in working towards the highest possible level of quality. High tech tools and instruments are used to control and monitor the process of making the tobacco, along with the watchful eyes of the well-trained employees. Snus manufacture has been around in Sweden for more than 200 years, but the equipment used by Swedish Match is at the cutting edge of technology. If the characteristic smell of fresh tobacco wasn’t lingering throughout the facility, you could easily imagine that the factory was a plant for the production of fighter jet parts or similar. Swedish Match has even come up with their own GothiaTek quality standard in order to hold themselves to the same super high level of quality standards. Those Swedes are a hard-working and dedicated bunch of people.
There was originally no quality standard for Swedish snus, so the Swedish Match company set to and invented one of their own – called GothiaTek®. This is a rigorous quality control standard that was certainly not created to give themselves an easy time of it!
Sweden has been a centre for snus manufacture for around 200 years. Snus is an unusual product and is quite different to other smoke free ways to consume tobacco – especially when it comes to the production methods. Snus is counted as a foodstuff according the Swedish legislation, which makes sense when you consider that snus is placed in the mouth. However, the Swedish National Food Agency is a national authority focused on specifying and limiting the ingredients of food products and does not set standards designed to promote high quality. As the leading producer of Swedish snus worldwide, Swedish match are the ones who have done most of the research.
The GothiaTek standard acts as a guarantee to assure customers that any product produced according to its guidelines has undergone strict quality controls. Swedish Match implements GothiaTek at every stage of production, from growing the tobacco through every stage of production until the product reaches the consumer.
The quality standard called GothiaTek® has been developed by Swedish Match and provides:
The standard is designed to promote the reduction or eliminate of suspected harmful substances from Swedish snus, as well as promoting better knowledge about snus products and the possible impacts that they may have on users. Independent and internal R&D aimed at continuous development are supported by the provisions of GothiaTek®.
Another aim of GothiaTek® is to promote the spread of knowledge about Swedish snus products through cooperation with authorities and legislators in order that all new regulations and law should be based on the best available knowledge about the products.
The taste of General Snus is robust and complex, thanks to the blend of over 22 types of tobacco. The flavor is enhanced by a few drops of bergamot oil, resulting in a citrusy overtone to balance the full-bodied, spicy tobacco. Many Swedish snus users consider this to be the one and only snus flavor.
Loving the classic and traditional General-flavor and want something extra strong? If thats the case then you must try the stimulating and flavorsome General Classic Extra Strong Snus.
This snus by Swedish Match combines the best of two worlds. General Mackmyra Original Portion Snus delivers a dark and smoky tobacco blend together with delicious hints of Mackmyra Oak Whisky
A true Swedish snus icon and a clear favorite amongst many users. General Original Portion delivers a full-bodied tobacco flavor together with refreshing hints of bergamot.
Experience a well-rounded tobacco flavor complemented with delightful hints of bergamot with General White Portion Snus. The white character of these portions minimizes the drip, providing a discreet and comfortable snus experience.