|This article may rely excessively on sources too closely associated with the subject, potentially preventing the article from being verifiable and neutral. (October 2013)|
|Headquarters||Stamford, Connecticut, USA|
|Products||Dipping tobacco, snus|
|Slogan||"A Pinch Better"|
Skoal is a brand of dipping tobacco, also known as moist snuff or snus. Skoal is produced by the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company (USSTC), which is a subsidiary of Altria. It is considered a higher-priced product within the dipping tobacco market. Skoal was first produced by USSTC in 1934. "Skoal" is an Anglicisation of skål, a term used in some Scandinavian regions to announce a toast of friendship, with connotations of well-wishing.
Skoal is often frowned upon in the "dipping community"[clarification needed] because it is a brand of moist snuff that contains fruity flavors and less nicotine and is priced higher than most other brands. A study conducted by scientists at R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company using both the nicotine levels and free nicotine Levels in common tobacco brands produced in 2006 generated the following ranked results:
|Rank/order||Tobacco brand/variety||NicotinelLevel (mg per gram)|
|1||Timberwolf Long Cut Winter Green||14.1|
|2||Copenhagen Long Cut||13.9|
|3||Longhorn Long Cut Winter Green||13.8|
|4||Renegades Winter Green||13.4|
|5||Skoal Long Cut Straight||13.4|
|6||Skoal Fine Cut Original||13.3|
|7||Red Seal Fine Cut||13.2|
|8||Husky Fine Cut||12.9|
|9||Skoal Long Cut Mint||12.9|
|10||Skoal Long Cut Winter Green||12.8|
|12||Skoal Long Cut Cherry||12.7|
|13||Kayak Long Cut Winter Green||11.9|
|15||Grizzly Long Cut Winter Green||11.2|
|16||Kodiak Winter Green||10.7|
|17||Cooper Long Cut Winter Green||8.0|
Advancements in measurement Using another measurement criteria known as the free nicotine level, a level which is generated mathematically using the nicotine levels and the pH level of the tobacco brand, the results are ranked on the chart below:
|Rank/order||Tobacco brand/variety||Free nicotine level (mg per gram)|
|1||Kodiak Winter Green||8.2|
|3||Grizzly Long Cut Winter Green||5.9|
|4||Longhorn Long Cut Winter Green||5.7|
|5||Copenhagen Long Cut||5.4|
|6||Timberwolf Long Cut Winter Green||5.2|
|7||Husky Fine Cut||4.8|
|8||Skoal Long Cut Straight||3.9|
|9||Skoal Fine Cut Original||3.9|
|10||Skoal Long Cut Mint||3.7|
|12||Red Seal Fine Cut||3.1|
|13||Skoal Long Cut Winter Green||2.9|
|14||Renegades Winter Green||2.4|
|15||Kayak Long Cut Winter Green||2.3|
|16||Skoal Long Cut Cherry||1.7|
|17||Cooper Long Cut Winter Green||1.1|
Nicotine level rankings
The results of this 2006 study on traditional moist snuff's most common varieties in terms of nicotine level only, show that Timberwolf Long Cut Winter Green, at 14.1 mg, is the highest, Copenhagen Long Cut, at 13.9 mg, is the second highest, and Longhorn's Long Cut Winter Green, at 13.8 mg, is third highest. The study also shows Cooper's Long Cut Winter Green, at 8.0 mg, is the lowest, Kodiak Long Cut Winter Green, at 10.7 mg, is second lowest, and Copenhagen Pouches and Grizzly Long Cut Wintergreen, both at 11.2 mg, tie for third last.
Skoal ranking Skoal, with a long cut range of 12.7 mg [tied for 11th strongest level, (Skoal Long Cut Cherry)], to a level of 13.4 mg of nicotine per gram of tobacco [tied for 4th strongest level, (Skoal Long Cut Straight)].
Free nicotine level rankings
However, in terms of the free nicotine level, it can be seen from the results that Kodiak Winter Green had the highest level at 8.2 mg, followed by Copenhagen Pouches at 6.8 mg, and Grizzly Long Cut Winter Green at 5.9 mg. The three lowest brands, were Cooper Long Cut Winter Green at 1.1 mg, Skoal Long Cut Cherry at 1.7 mg, and Kayak Long Cut Winter Green with a free nicotine level at 2.3 mg.
Skoal ranking Skoal had a long cut free nicotine level range of 1.7 mg [tied for 16th strongest level, (Skoal Long Cut Cherry)] to 3.9 mg of free nicotine per gram of tobacco [tied for 8th strongest level (Skoal Long Cut Straight) and (Skoal Fine Cut Original)].
Mixed opinions on strength
From these results, it can be seen that Skoal ranks among the upper average in most varieties of its chewing tobacco. However, in the nicotine level chart, a measurement designed to read how much nicotine one actually receives while using the product, Skoal's varieties ranged from average (8th) to poor (2nd to last) depending on flavor and texture.
Cuts and flavors
Skoal is packaged in a 1.2 oz plastic can with a metal lid and is available in three textures: fine cut, long cut and two different pouch sizes. Fine cut is more grain-like, while long cut is more string-like. Two pouch varieties of Skoal are also available, Bandits, which are small pouches, and standard size pouches. The tobacco is sealed in a teabag-like pouch, eliminating the problem of tobacco spreading through the mouth. They are also easier to remove, since the tobacco stays in the pouch throughout use. Skoal Bandits are smaller, 1 gram pouches. To compensate for the smaller portion of Bandits, tins of them contain 20 pouches, instead of the standard 15.
Skoal Original Fine Cut Wintergreen was originally sold in a fiberboard can with tin lid, just like Copenhagen, and was packaged in the plastic can with a tin lid. Skoal Long Cut has always been sold in a plastic can, and originally had a plastic lid as well.
- Skoal Original Fine Cut Wintergreen
- Skoal Bandits Mint
- Skoal Bandits Wintergreen
- Skoal Long Cut Wintergreen
- Skoal Long Cut Straight
- Skoal Long Cut Mint
- Skoal Long Cut Classic
- Skoal Long Cut Cherry
- Skoal Long Cut Spearmint
- Skoal Long Cut Apple Blend
- Skoal Long Cut Berry Blend
- Skoal Long Cut Citrus Blend
- Skoal Long Cut Select Blend (only available in Ohio)
- Skoal Long Cut Peach Blend
- Skoal Pouches Mint
- Skoal Pouches Straight
- Skoal Pouches Wintergreen
- Skoal ReadyCut Mint
- Skoal ReadyCut Straight
- Skoal ReadyCut Wintergreen
- Skoal Snus Mint
- Skoal Snus Smooth Mint
- Skoal X-tra Crisp Blend Long Cut/Pouches
- Skoal X-tra Mint Long Cut/Pouches
- Skoal X-tra Mint Chill Long Cut/Pouches (only available in certain areas)
- Skoal X-tra Rich Blend Long Cut/Pouches
- Skoal X-tra Wintergreen Long Cut/Pouches
Skoal X-tra was introduced in 2011 and has a bolder flavor and slightly more nicotine than regular Skoal. Skoal X-tra Crisp Blend and Rich Blend are two regular Skoal flavors fused together. Crisp Blend is a combination of Apple and Citrus, while Rich Blend is a combination of Cherry and Berry.
Skoal ReadyCut was introduced in late 2012. It is 15 pre-formed cubes of long cut tobacco which eliminate the need for packing the tin and are more convenient than traditional long cut. As of 2015, it had largely been removed from most markets, with showings only in a few states and online.
When Skoal Long Cut was introduced, the original four flavors were:
- Mint (introduced in 1985)
In 1993, two new flavors added to the line-up:
Many more flavors and varieties were subsequently added.
- Skoal Dry Cinnamon Pouches
- Skoal Dry Menthol Pouches
- Skoal Dry Regular Pouches
- Skoal Long Cut Edge Wintergreen
- Skoal Long Cut Frost
- Skoal Long Cut Vanilla Blend
- Skoal Pouches Citrus Blend
- Skoal Pouches Berry Blend
- Skoal Snus Cinnamon
- Skoal Snus Citrus Blend
- Skoal Bandits Straight
- Skoal Bandits Classic
- Skoal Flavor pouches
- Skoal Key (as of 2015, only found in Missouri and Kansas, with some offerings online.)
- Skoal Fine Cut Straight (found in North Carolina and offered through Sam's Club online.)
- Skoal Ready Cut (All Flavors pulled from markets due to lack of sales. Only available in limited areas, and primarily through Sam's Club online.)
- 1934: Skoal was introduced as a wintergreen-flavored smokeless tobacco.
- 1983: Skoal Bandits were released.
- 1984: Skoal Long Cut was released nationwide. It was introduced in four flavors: Wintergreen, Mint, Straight and Classic.
- 2010: Skoal pouches were released.
- 2011: Skoal Snus was released.
- 2011: Skoal Xtra was released in pouches and longcut.
- Early 2012: Skoal ReadyCut was released in a limited area. (Indiana, Florida, Kentucky and Virginia only)
- Late 2012: Skoal ReadyCut was available across the United States.
- 2013: Skoal Xtra Mint Chill was released for trial in selected areas (Texas, South Carolina and Virginia only)
- 2013: Skoal ReadyCut discontinued.
IRI infoscan data for 2012 indicated that Skoal tobacco held a 22.5% share of the US smokeless tobacco market. There have been several songs written about Skoal or containing references to Skoal such as "The Grundy County Spitting Incident" by Cledus T. Judd.
Ready Cut Controversy
In late 2012, Skoal introduced their "ReadyCut" line. Ready cut was essentially the same as their previous tobacco offerings, with the primary difference being in the way in which it was presented in the can. As opposed to pouches, or loose tobacco, Ready Cut was pressed into small bricks roughly one inch long, and half an inch square. The premise behind this was that a user could get their average "pinch" without the need to pack the can, or spend too much time digging the tobacco out. Furthermore, there would be less tobacco dropped, making the ready cut bricks cleaner. Shortly after its introduction, however, many users began to complain that the number of bricks in the can, did not equate the same amount of tobacco which the company claimed was packaged. (Most cans have roughly one ounce of loose tobacco in them, while the average number of pouches per can is in the 15 to 20 range.) Users noted that if the bricks were broken apart and pressed around to form the usual loose tobacco, the can itself seemed half full; thus being less than the advertised one ounce. As a result of this, and the perceived stigma associated with pouch use by regular users, Ready Cut sales quickly dwindled, to a point that by the end of 2013, Skoal had largely pulled Ready Cut from the market.
- "R Street". R Street Institute. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- "UST Inc. History". U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company. Retrieved 19 November 2007.