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We all know that 1919 had some scary aspects. Despite the formal end of WW1 with the signing of the Versailles Treaty, there was still some conflict and anarchists were doing their de-stabilizing thing. Then to top it all, a volcano in Java chose that moment to erupt. So did anything good happen? Well yes, the modern toaster was invented, as well as a sweet mild snus that was released in Gothenburg.
In 1826, merchant Eric Mellgren received a license and became the founder of a snus business that was to survive a long time. At the time, he kept the tiny shop on Vallgatan where he sold spices, coffee and cocoa with the help of a single assistant. Later on, his son, Johan August Mellgren, took over and the business grew, expanding into a factory and in 1863 employing a steam engine for power.
At the time there were around 60 factory employees. By the end of the 19th century, manufacture reached its highest point with around 100 employees. The production figures for 1902 were 150k kg snus and 75k kg of pipe and cigar tobacco. Their most famous tobacco brand was called Svenska Flaggan, (The Swedish Flag) and was a mix for sailors. As we know, the Swedish tobacco industry was nationalized in 1915 in order to fund national defense and the country’s first pension reform. By this point, E. Mellgren & Son had been in business for 87 years. After nationalization, one of the Mellgren recipes was considered to be so good that it was registered as a new snus brand in 1919. The name was Göteborgs Prima Fint, no 930 and it was a loose snus with a mild unseasoned tobacco giving it a sweet taste. The name “Fint” is Swedish for “fine”, which related both to the fact that is was a finely ground snus and that it was a premium product.
Over the years since the registration of this snus, there have been almost no changes in the recipe. The number 930 has been dropped from the name, the otherwise the snus is largely as it was – a significant deal for a premium snus aimed at the most discerning consumers. Another important fact is that Göteborgs Prima Fint comes only in its original flavor and form (as a loose snus) without any modern innovations such as portions or white versions. The can is colored a pale blue that reflects the mild tastes of the snus. Coincidentally, the trams of Gothenburg are the same color but we aren’t sure whether it’s that or the river of Gothenburg that was the inspiration for the color.
This finely ground snus is easy to roll into portions and enjoy the traditional way. And the fans of this classic brand wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
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