Brand: Röda Lacket

Röda Lacket

Röda Lacket – The original all-Swedish snus

The famous Swedish city of Norrköping was once burned to the ground by the Russians. However, this wasn’t all bad because it made space for a tobacco plantation. A young man called Petter Swartz who started planting 40 years after the tragedy soon had an area of growth that was bigger that 1500 tennis courts. Seven different types of snus were made from these yellow leaves, and the most famous one that still survives today is Röda lacket.

A young snus entrepreneur

Petter Swartz came from the north of Sweden, from the mining communities in Bergslagen. He was familiar with the Italian system of double entry bookkeeping and introduced into the recovering city of Norrköping. He also worked tirelessly to achieve his own dream of owning a snus factory.  The reality took place in 1753 and remained small for a while until Petter’s brother Olof Swarz got involved and helped Petter to re-design the manufacturing process. In those days, before the steam engine had been refined for widespread use, horses were still used to power many aspects of factories. Petter and Olof used horses to turn the giant cog of the tobacco grinder but later switched to water power. The tobacco plantation kept growing, becoming 395000 square meters (this is around 1500 tennis courts) at its biggest. After harvesting, the tobacco was air cured in space provided by three huge barns that like all Swedish barns, were painted red.

The Swartz tobacco business was founded on a few recipes, of which Röda Lacket (The Red Seal) was the most successful in Sweden.  As with any family business, the recipe got passed on for six generations and generated a lot of wealth. Norrköping still bears the mark of the Swartz family who funded the art museum and library of the city. Petter Swatz was both generous and smart and he also founded a school in 1772 where double-entry bookkeeping was taught, as well as carpentry.

The Röda Lacket remained popular over the years and was part of the reason for the tobacco plantation in Norrköping remaining as long as it did. Other snus brands such as Gröna Lacket (The Green Seal) did not remain as successful. Röda Lacket became unexpectedly popular in 1968 during the student revolts of Europe – which may have had something to do with the red color and its association with the socialist movement that was sweeping Europe. However, in Sweden the whole period was one of peace and love for snus. 

No products of this brand