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What is snus

What is Snus?

Snus: a type of moist powdered oral tobacco that is usually held in the mouth between the upper lip and gum. Snus or the tobacco pouch has always been culturally attached to Sweden. This is mainly because we were the first one's to produce it and bring it overseas when Swedes migrated to the US during the 1900s. However, snus is rapidly spreading further afield and is generating curiosity among Brits. 

But what really is snus? Read on to find out more about what snus really is, the types of snus and the best snus brands!

What is Snus Made Of?

What is snus

The main ingredient of snus is, of course, tobacco. However, the other core ingredients are:

  • - Water
  • - Salt (usually the same kind you use for cooking)
  • - Sodium carbonate 
  • - Aromatic compounds (often bergamot or juniper)
  • - Moisture preserving agents

Types of Snus

Snus comes in many varieties: from loose, to portioned.

Loose Snus

Loose snus is a moist powder that can be made into portions and packed using your fingers to make a pouch shape. It is quite a messy way to use snus and can result in dripping, but is the original way to use snus. 

Portioned Snus

Portioned snus is where the moist snus powder comes pre-packaged in sachets for a less messy experience. It is considered more convenient and discreet than traditional snus (which is why the most popular type of Swedish snus). There are several forms of portioned snus:

  • - Original Portion: A product where the moist tobacco mixture has been placed in a small bag. Most popular brands of original portion snus are Kapten, Thunder, Skruf, Odens and Grov snus. 
  • - White Portion: A dry and less runny tobacco pouch. The most popular brands that have white portion snus are General White, Lundgrens, Göteborgs Rapé, Siberia and Knox Portion.
  • - Mini Portion: An extra small pouch for discreet use.
  • - Slim Portion: A slim version for a more discreet look and better fit under the lip.

Swedish Snus vs American Snus

The main differences between Swedish snus and American snus are in portion size and flavours available. 
Swedish snus traditionally has much larger portions than American snus, which also means they tend to have a higher nicotine content. It is also common for Swedish snus to taste less sweet than American snus, as the US market tend to prefer to mask the tobacco flavour. 

Snus vs Nicotine Pouches

What is snus
Both snus and nicotine pouches are portioned oral nicotine products, so what is the difference between snus and nicotine pouches? The major difference between snus and pouches is that nicotine pouches are tobacco-free, whereas Swedish snus is not. 
Tobacco is the base ingredient in most types of snus, however in nicotine pouches the nicotine is either produced synthetically or extracted from the Nicotiana tabacum plant and crystalized into nicotine salt (making it tobacco leaf free, as there is no tobacco plant in nicotine pouches). 
It is also important to note that snus is illegal in the UK - however, nicotine pouches are legal (if you are over 18 years old). 

The Best Snus Brands

Top 4 Tobacco Snus Brands

Based on data from one of the most popular retailers of Swedish snus in Sweden, Nettotobak, the top 4 Swedish snus brands are:

  1. 1. Ettan. Ettan has been produced for hundreds of years and remains the most popular snus in Sweden. Around 1/5 of the snus  sold in Sweden is Ettan.
  2. 2. General. General snus was founded in 1840 and is made with a signature blend of over 20 types of tobacco, and is infused with bergamot oil (for the classic Swedish snus flavour)
  3. 3. Göteborgs Rape. This brand has been sold in Sweden since 1919, and is a classic snus infused with juniper berries for a lightly sweet tobacco pouch experience.
  4. 4. Lundgrens. Lundgrens snus is produced by Fiedler and Lundgren: another of the classic Swedish snus brands. While they experiment with new concepts, they still use traditional methods to craft their snus.


Want to learn more about Swedish snus brands? Check out the full list of all Swedish snus brands.

Top 5 Tobacco Free Snus (Nicotine Pouches)

While you cannot buy traditional snus in the UK, you can still buy nicotine pouches (or tobacco-free snus) - which is a great alternative. The top 5 best snus brands in the UK that are tobacco-free are:

  1. 1. Nordic Spirit. Nordic Spirit has one of the most unique flavour ranges in the nicotine pouch market. However, what makes them completely unique is that all Nordic Spirit pouches have a base note of bergamot added to them, which gives them a flavour profile similar to that of traditional snus. 
  2. 2. VELO. A Swedish brand of pouches, VELO pouches are made from plant-based fibres, flavouring and nicotine with a gum base. 
  3. 3. LYFT. LYFT is a relaunched brand with a range of artisan nicotine pouches. 
  4. 4. ZYN. A brand of all-white nicotine pouches made in Scandinavia. ZYN is the most popular nicotine pouch brand in the U.S. and are becoming increasingly popular with U.K. users too. 
  5. 5. LOOP. LOOP is a Swedish brand of pouches launched in 2019, developing new and innovative nicotine pouches.
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