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History of Nicotine Pouches – All-White Snus History

Another benefit of shopping for nicotine pouches online is the ability to get more information about the pouches. When shopping in stores, the information you have about the products is extremely limited. Online, however, you can read detailed information about the product. Instead of only seeing the nicotine strength on a scale of one to four when shopping in stores, you can read about the exact nicotine content online.

This is especially important when it comes to flavors. Sometimes the information about the flavor is quite limited when shopping in stores, but online, you always have a detailed description of the flavor so that you can determine if it sounds like something that would suit you.

Nicotine pouches, also known as white snus, smokeless tobacco, all white snus, and much more, have dramatically increased in popularity in recent years. Nicotine pouches can best be described as a product development of the classic tobacco snus that we all know. In many ways, nicotine pouches resemble snus and there are several differences and similarities. The absolutely most important difference is the fact that nicotine pouches are completely free of tobacco.

Nicotine pouches are a response to what the market has long been demanding and they offer, according to many, several advantages over tobacco snus.

But unlike tobacco snus, nicotine pouches have a very short history. The history of tobacco snus goes all the way back to the 1700s when people began mixing tobacco leaves with salt and water and then placed them under their lips. The history of nicotine pouches, on the other hand, does not begin until around 2015, although in a way you could say that the history of nicotine pouches is based in snus since it is inspired by this and used in the same way.

In this article, we will go through the history of nicotine pouches – the tobacco-free snus and look at their development from its beginnings to today.

The history of nicotine pouches & development

2015: Epok is launched as the world’s first all-white snus

Many snus users are probably familiar with the brand Epok. However, this brand no longer exists today but it was the world’s first all-white snus.

Epok was launched in 2015 and became the world’s first all-white snus. Unlike nicotine pouches, however, Epok contained tobacco, but it was the first all-white snus to see the benefits of making a white snus and can therefore be seen as the starting shot for what would become nicotine pouches.

The difference between Epok and today’s nicotine pouches is that Epok contained washed tobacco. Through a special process that was entirely water-based and free of chemicals, the tobacco was cleaned making it completely white.

Just like nicotine pouches, the pouch remained completely white before, during, and after use. Epok was founded by Winnington which in January 2017 was acquired by British American Tobacco, BAT.

The Epok snus had many of the same benefits as today’s tobacco-free nicotine pouches, meaning they did not discolor teeth and gave a cleaner and fresher snus experience. Since the strong taste of tobacco disappeared during this washing process, it gave greater opportunities for flavorings. Epok was launched in many different flavors, including blueberry, melon, coffee, cranberry, and more.

The company continued to produce Epok until the fall of 2018 when the brand changed its name from Epok to Lyft.

2016: Swedish Match launches their first all-white snus, Omni

In 2016, Swedish Match launched its first all-white snus under the brand name Omni. Like Epok, Omni contained washed tobacco, but with an important difference: Omni contained a mixture of tobacco and natural cellulose fiber, while Epok contained only tobacco.

Swedish Match launched its first white snus under the brand name Omni in 2016. Like Epok, Omni contained washed tobacco, but with an important difference: Omni contained a mixture of tobacco and natural cellulose fiber, whereas Epok contained only tobacco. This was the first time a manufacturer began to mix other ingredients besides tobacco in nicotine snus, which also laid the foundation for nicotine pouches today. Today, all nicotine pouches contain some form of cellulose and plant fiber, just like Omni did in 2016.

Omni’s pouches were significantly drier than traditional tobacco snus, with a moisture content of 30-50 percent, making them run much less.

Omni snus came in white pouches with a long, slim mini format weighing 0.4 grams per pouch. Swedish Match highlighted Omni as a product that does not need to be refrigerated.

Omni was also produced in several different flavors.

2016: Swedish Match launches ZYN

In 2016, Swedish Match launches its first tobacco-free nicotine pouch named ZYN, becoming Sweden’s first tobacco-free snus and the first tobacco-free nicotine pouch on the market.

ZYN is still being manufactured today and is one of the most popular brands of nicotine pouches. ZYN is produced in a range of flavors and strengths and comes in two different formats. Four years after its launch in 2019, ZYN accounted for 9% of the total snus market, showing tremendous growth and increased popularity of a completely new product.

2017: Omni is discontinued and replaced by ZYN

In 2017, Omni was discontinued from the Swedish Match range and the company then referred to its tobacco-free nicotine pouch ZYN. In many ways, ZYN resembles Omni, but with the important difference that ZYN is completely free from tobacco.

2018: Epok becomes Lyft

In the fall of 2018, Epok was launched under a new brand, Lyft.

Lyft follows in Swedish Match’s footsteps and makes Epok entirely tobacco-free. The first Lyft models included many of the previous flavors that Epok had been manufactured with to satisfy the customers in the market who appreciated Epok.

2017: Swedish Match launches General G.4

In 2017, Swedish Match launches yet another new white snus, General G.4, but with a similar principle to Omni, meaning it combined fibers with a small amount of light tobacco. This made General G.4 offer the benefits of a white snus but without the taste of tobacco and with the boldness of a white pouch.

Swedish Match wrote “Thanks to new technology, we have been able to manufacture completely white pouches with the same type of consistency and feeling as traditional portion snus, but completely without traces of tobacco flavor. We call this format All White.”

Swedish Match further explains “Through a combination of fibers and a small amount of light tobacco, G.4 is an All White snus before, during, and after use. The pouch has a soft fit, low drip, and delivers a similar nicotine experience as traditional snus in the White format from Swedish Match.”

2018: Skruf launches super white

In 2018, Skruf also joins the growing all-white market of tobacco-free snus and launches Skruf Super White. This is an all-white snus that was launched in several different flavors. 

In 2021, Skruf launched its new brand, Zone X, which, unlike the Skruf brand, only produces tobacco-free nicotine pouches. Zone X is the company’s biggest bet yet when it comes to nicotine pouches, and the company is putting more focus on Zone X over Skruf Super White when it comes to the nicotine pouch segment.

2019: Swedish Match launches Onico Pure white

In 2008, Swedish Match launched Onico as a tobacco and nicotine-free alternative for snus users who want to quit snus or reduce their nicotine intake.

In 2019, Swedish Match expanded the Onico range by introducing a completely white alternative for this product line. The advantage of Onico Pure White is that it is completely white and does not discolor the teeth. The launch of a completely white pouch even in its nicotine-free range further proves that demand for completely white pouches is increasing within the entire segment.

2020: Swedish Match (Gotlandssnus) launches Swave

In 2020, Gotlandssnus, which was acquired by Swedish Match in 2018, launches its first all-white, tobacco-free nicotine pouch. Gotlandssnus launched its all-white snus under the brand name Swave.

The focus of Swave is on tropical and fruity flavors that stand out in a market dominated by various mint flavors.

2021: Swedish Match launches XR free from tobacco

In 2021, Swedish Match launches the first all-white nicotine pouch under the General brand in the XR series. XR Free From Tobacco is a nicotine pouch inspired by the flavor of General and aimed at snus users who want the benefits of an all-white pouch but still want to experience a classic snus taste.

Swedish Match describes the product as follows:

“The product carries the benefits of Nicotine Pouches for a cleaner experience in the mouth and throat, completely without tobacco but without losing the taste of tobacco.”

2022: Lyft becomes Velo

Lyft becomes VELO

In 2022, BAT changed the name of its nicotine pouch from Lyft to Velo. Whilst BAT had used the name Velo in parts of Europe and the UK, Lyft was used in Sweden and a few other countries. To create a more consistent brand that could be recognized regardless of where in the world you are, the company decided to use the name Velo across all markets. Therefore, BAT changed to VELO. However, they did not discontinue the name Lyft but instead created a separate product line called Lyft and Lyft/Lab which would be promoted as a premium alternative to Velo.

The growing popularity of nicotine pouches

The increased popularity of nicotine pouches has led to a number of new brand and manufacturers of nicotine pouches, mainly between 2018 and 2022. Some of the new brands include Loop, Après, Klint, Nordic Sprit, Volt, XQS, among others.

White snus, nicotine pouches are growing in popularity among all age groups and taking a larger and larger market share of oral nicotine products. Nicotine pouches are also increasing in popularity around the world, especially within the EU where traditional tobacco snus is banned by the EU except for in Sweden, unlike nicotine pouches.

In 2020, the sales of nicotine pouches increased by over 200% compared to 2019 according to Snusbolaget.

Of those surveyed in the survey, 62% said it feels fresher, 50% said it does not discolor the teeth, 29% said it feels healthier, and 42% said it is tastier.

The largest growth in the use of nicotine pouches has occurred among women. According to the Swedish Public Health Agency, the proportion of daily snus users differs between women and men. In 2021, 20% of men and 6% of women reported using snus daily.

The daily use of snus has increased among younger people in recent years, with a particularly noticeable increase seen among women. According to the Swedish Public Health Agency, the proportion of women who reported daily snus use has increased from three percent in 2018 to nine percent in 2021. A large part of this is driven by the perceived freshness of tobacco-free snus.

Nicotine Pouches history infographic

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