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The climate in the north of Sweden can be harsh at times, and people tend to be more taciturn. This is the region where the coarsely ground Grov snus first became popular. The snus is largely the same today, with its strong, full-bodied tobacco flavor. This is a brand for people who really love the taste of dark tobacco, and Sweden must have plenty of those kinds of people, as this is one of the popular snuses on the Swedish market.
Every Swede will readily agree that the Norrland area of the country is special. Sparsely populated, with only 12% of the country’s population living in the entire (huge!) region, most of it is classified as sub-arctic terrain. The locals can seem a quiet and hard-working bunch who aren’t too bothered about trends in fashion. However, if snowmobiles and hunting are your thing, this could well be your heaven on earth. It seems fitting that a coarse-grained snus like Grov came into being in a region like this. News of this snus variety spread slowly and it did not become truly popular until the special recipe developed by Willhelm Hellgren put Grov snus on the map. Hellgren was based in Stockholm in the now popular hipster area of Götgatan, and was a rival to the founder of Ettan snus - Jacob Fredrik Ljunglöf. Similar to Ettan, Grov is one of the oldest brands of Swedish snus and was registered in 1915.
Willhelm Hellgren’s story starts out with him working as an office clerk in the Aspelins factory in Stockholm. He was highly ambitious and took it upon himself to absorb as much knowledge about the making of tobacco products as he could. From the very beginning, he had plans to start a factory of his own. This dream came true in 1840 and after just 10 years, his factory was the third largest in Sweden. He also had a number of tobacco outlets in strategic areas of Stockholm. After a long development profess, Grov snus became a well-established brand with its own special recipe – rather than just being a term for the quality of the snus.
It’s also interesting to note the rivalry between W:m Hellgren & Co and the market leader at the time - Jacob Fredrik Ljunglöf, the founder of Ettan. Other snus varieties offered by Hellgren’s business at the time included names such as Patent Snus, Gotlands Rapé, Mörkt snus and Ankarsnus. However of these, Grov snus is the only remaining brand today.
Part of the reason for the association of Grov Snus with the north comes from a move by the Swedish government after they took over all snus production in 1915. Manufacture of the Grov brand was shifted into the north of Sweden to a place called Härnösand that was 428 km from Stockholm. This was to reflect the fact that most of the brand’s fans lived in the north, and this would make transport after production more efficient. As another efficiency measure, Grov snus was also sold in practical half kilo cans that could be re-used as food storage cans afterwards. Cans were also sometimes used to fry American pork in – something that we’re sure no other snus brand can claim!
The association with the north and with an outdoor lifestyle could be a large part of the reason for the traditionally masculine image of the brand. The target consumers were farm and forest workers, as well as hunters, fishermen and sportsmen. The brand was associated with motor vehicles of all kinds. The strong, dark tobacco flavor and the coarsely ground nature of the brand seems to fit with this image. Grov snus sold in portions did not arrive until 1983, and it took until 2003 for a white version to arrive.
Recent years have seen a few subtle changes in the design of Grov snus packaging. One could claim that this is the only change that has been made to the brand since 1915. This refinement was carried out by the brand’s owner – Swedish Match – with extreme caution, as it is well known that many Grov snus fans (and there are enough of them to sell over 20 million cans of Grov snus every year!) are traditionalists who have been using the brand for decades. In such a case, any attempts to “improve” the brand could be seen as unnecessary and met with outrage.
Grov Stark Original Snus comes in original flavor - bringing you a full-bodied tobacco taste with subtle herb and almond hints. This is a strong snus delivered in moistened portions for fast and convenient flavor release.