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Picture the scene: it was a time when the number of personal computers in the world was only around 48,000, similarly, two of the world’s biggest superpowers were metaphorically staring each other down, and in cinemas, those pesky rebels were attempting to blow up the Death Star.
Meanwhile, at Swedish Match, the developers had finished work on their innovative new snus variety: Tre Ankare. This new snus would only be available in portions – meaning that the snus was pre-packed into pouches. Something that most of the world had never seen before!
Before Swedish Match released the Tre Ankare brand, you had to form the loose snus into portions yourself in a process called baking. There is of course nothing wrong with the noble art of baking, but for the people who don’t like to get their hands dirty, the act of rolling the gains into a portion can be something of a messy activity. It was well known that not everyone enjoyed this and a number of portioning tools were already available, but they never quite enjoyed the anticipated success. In the end the tools were never able to compete with the agility of the human hand, which contains 48 distinct muscles.
A previous attempt at portioned snus was made in 1973 with the Smokeless brand launched by Swedish Match. This was a whiskey-flavored snus that was sold in pouches similar to teabags. However, the product fell flat and was quickly withdrawn from the market. It seems that snus users had liked the idea of the pouches, but that the Smokeless snus had failed to get it quite right when it came to the flavor. Therefore the developers at Swedish Match kept on working on the new idea and broke through in 1977 with the Tre Ankare brand.
It was a revolution in the snus world and many old timers were outraged. However, other snus users were overjoyed at the arrival (finally!) of a more convenient way to enjoy snus. Portion snus was quicker, less messy and much easier to dispose of after use. You also didn’t have to worry about the tobacco staining your fingers. The flavor chosen for the Tre Ankare brand was a full-bodied tobacco with a strong character that people described as “earthy” with hints of herbs. So the brand succeeded not only in revolutionizing the way that most people used snus, but also in introducing a great-tasting snus flavor to the market.
Tre Ankare was registered on 14th March 1975 and became available to the public two years later. The snus became very famous thanks to its very innovative nature. In any case, advertising of tobacco products in Sweden has always been strictly controlled. The most effective type of marketing was the satisfied consumers who recommended the product to their friends. The Tre Ankare brand had a rather masculine image and brand design which was intended to reflect the powerful taste. This was funny because the brand was successful in converting many female users into fans of the brand. The packaging has been refined somewhat since then, and now appeals to a faithful group of hardcore snusers – many of whom have stuck with the brand since its release.
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