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Why are ZYN Pouches so Popular?

ZYN nicotine pouches

Nicotine pouches have exploded in popularity over the last couple of years. In fact, this product has gone from being relatively unknown by a lot of people just a few years ago, to being something that a large number of people are now familiar with. Nicotine pouches have had quite the journey over the last decade and are reshaping the way we consume nicotine, helping more and more people transition from smoking and other tobacco products, to smoke-free and less harmful alternatives.

To a great extent, it is the reduced risk profile that nicotine pouches offer that has driven a lot of the surge in popularity of this innovative product. As more and more people become health-conscious, particular of the great risks associated with smoking, more people are looking for less harmful alternatives. In this transition, many new products have been launched but nicotine pouches certainly take the font seat of this interesting shift. And one brand that stands out in particular is ZYN.

But why is it that ZYN has become one of the leading brands when it comes to nicotine pouches? As the market for nicotine pouches has grown, so has the number of brands competing for market share. ZYN has managed to establish itself amongst the top and that certainly isn’t by accident. In this article, we will take a closer look at ZYN, its background, and discuss why ZYN nicotine pouches have become so immensely popular.

Introduction to ZYN Pouches

Nicotine pouches are a relatively new phenomena that only began appearing on the market in around 2015. In a way, nicotine pouches are a brand new product that more or less invented in 2015. On the same token, nicotine pouches are really just a product development of traditional Swedish snus which has been used widely primarily in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries for many decades and in some forms more than a century.

Swedish snus is identical to nicotine pouches with the only difference being that nicotine pouches do not contain tobacco. So it’s not strange that product developers working on innovating and improving these products would eventually come up with a way to offer the same satisfaction and user experience but without the tobacco. And the result became nicotine pouches.

The history of ZYN goes back to 2016 when Swedish launched the brand. On December 13th, 2016,  Swedish Match stated the following:

”ZYN is a product that has no tobacco content but contains nicotine. The product is currently sold in roughly 4,000 stores in eleven states in the USA, and will be available from December 12 and 13 respectively in Swedish Match’s own stores in Stockholm and Gothenburg.  ZYN has been well received in the USA and we now want to do a limited launch and see how this product is received by our consumers in the Swedish market. ZYN complements our snus range and offers a product for adults who are looking for an alternative to the products currently on the nicotine market, such as e-cigarettes or traditional snus with tobacco content”

Swedish Match is the single largest manufacturer of Swedish tobacco snus in the world and has an exceptionally strong position in the snus market with a long list of snus brands to its name. That said, it doesn’t come as a surprise that a company wish such enormous resources and expertise in manufacturing oral nicotine products would also become one of the first brands to launch nicotine pouches.

Swedish Match initially launched ZYN in the United States in 2016 and it gained traction quite quickly. After that, Swedish Match announced that it would also launch the product in Sweden – the home country of snus – and later also other markets such as Norway and the rest of Europe.

Before the launch of ZYN, Swedish Match had experimented with a number of all-white products as well. For example, Swedish Match launched Omni which was an all-white snus that still contained tobacco. The purpose was to develop a snus that was more ”fresh” than the traditional brown tobacco snus. Ultimately, there came a point when Swedish Match and other manufacturers asked themselves ”why not just skip the tobacco altogether?”, and nicotine pouches were born.

For Swedes, the launch of nicotine pouches wasn’t a huge deal since the snus culture is exceptionally strong, with more than a fifth of the male population already using snus. However, in countries like the US where the use of oral nicotine products has historically been relatively limited, the launch of a new and innovative product like ZYN was a huge deal. And with all of the benefits offered over other nicotine pouches, predominantly smoking, it doesn’t come as a surprise that ZYN was very well met and has seen immense growth since its launch.

ZYN nicotine pouches

The popularity of ZYN nicotine pouches

Now that we have a better understanding of the background of ZYN, we come to the main question which is, ”why are ZYN pouches so popular?”

The answer is of course due to several reasons. Let’s have a closer look.

Strong owner

First and foremost, ZYN is owned by Swedish Match. Swedish Match is the largest manufacturer of Swedish snus and has a very strong position within the space of oral nicotine pouches. Because of this, ZYN had a great starting point when it was founded. All the distribution chains were already established and it naturally becomes fairly easy for the manufacturer to gets its product ”out there” and to make it reach distributors and stores. Therefore, ZYN had a head start compared to many other competitors on the market that started out from scratch. This was obviously an important contributor to ZYN’s success early on and its ability to establish itself as a strong brand.

Moreover, it’s important to point out that Swedish Match was 100% acquired by Philip Morris, one of the largest tobacco manufacturers in the world. Since Philipp Morris has an explicit goal of deriving more of its revenue from smoke-free products, the acquisition of Swedish Match made perfect sense. In addition, ZYN in particular was a big reason for the acquisition.

PMI states:

”by 2030, we aim to have more than two-thirds of our net revenue come from smoke-free products.”

Since Philipp Morris is one of the largest tobacco manufacturers in the world, they have an even stronger position on the market than Swedish Match has to further promote and distribute ZYN, which will be a huge advantage moving forward.

Moreover, since ZYN was founded by a billion-dollar company, there were obviously lots of resources that could be invested into marketing and promotion. This is often a challenge for smaller brands with limited budgets but ZYN didn’t have those issues and could invest hugely into promoting ZYN and building the brand around the world. Thanks to the great resources of Swedish Match, ZYN could grow extremely fast and gain enormous popularity around the globe.

One of the first nicotine pouch brands

As stated earlier, ZYN was one of the very first tobacco-free nicotine pouch brands. It is obviously a huge advantage to be early in a bran new segment and ZYN was certainly at the forefront of this emerging new market. Since ZYN was one of the first brands for tobacco-free nicotine pouches, they had a head start compared to many other competitors, allowing them to establish itself before other competitors can come in and steal marketshare.

Long expertise in making high-quality products

A huge contributing factor to ZYN’s great success comes from its quality. It’s hard to build a strong brand without having qualitative products. In many ways, it’s a prerequisite.

That said, ZYN was founded by a brand that has decades of experience in making oral nicotine pouches, namely, snus. Therefore, Swedish Match had a lot of expertise and know-how that it could use when developing ZYN to create a really high-quality product. Moreover, Swedish Match already had factories in place in which ZYN pouches could be manufactured according to a really high standard. This expertise, know-how, and resources have naturally contributed to ZYN’s success and put them ahead of most other brands that had to start from scratch and learn all of these things.

Wide range of products

Apart from being known for making high-quality products, ZYN also offers a wide selection of different products to cater to every taste and preference. It helps a lot to be able to offer a wide selection of products that appeals to everyone. Over the years, ZYN has consistently improved and broadened its offerings to appeal to a wider audience with new products, flavors, designs, and nicotine strengths. 


ZYN is today one of the most popular brands of nicotine pouches in the world. Its journey is really impressive considering it has grown to become a huge brand in a relatively short period, only first launched in 2016. Thanks to the great resources and expertise, coupled with high-quality products and being one of the first brands on the market, ZYN has been able to gain a great market share. ZYN is by far the leading brand of nicotine pouches in the United States which has to do with the fact that Swedish Match was already active in the US before the launch of ZYN, and because Swedish Match made a conscious decision to invest heavily in building the ZYN brand in the US early on.


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