The Review Smiths
As next-generation non-combustible alternatives to cigarettes enter the market, topping the oral nicotine pouch category is the brand ZYN. ZYN nicotine pouches are inspired...

As next-generation non-combustible alternatives to cigarettes enter the market, topping the oral nicotine pouch category is the brand ZYN. ZYN nicotine pouches are inspired by Swedish-style snus and are the first pouches to be widely distributed in the United States in 2014, manufactured and marketed by the tobacco company Swedish Match. ZYN’s thin white pouches are made of plant fibers, allowing the white powdered nicotine to be released for immediate relief.

Ingredients and usage

The pre-portioned nicotine found inside the ZYN pouch is high-quality and pharmaceutical-grade. The nicotine content is extracted from natural tobacco leaves for a similar experience to cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products.

Other ingredients include food-grade additives, stabilizers like hydroxypropyl cellulose, pH adjusters, sweeteners, aroma, and flavorings. These make ZYN’s composition relatively similar to other popular pouch brands like Lyft, Nordic Spirit, On!, and Rogue. 

The nicotine in the pouch is directly delivered to the user’s oral mucosa by placing it between the upper lip and the gum. On average, the nicotine experience from a single ZYN pouch lasts anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes. Users must choose the right nicotine strength to minimize side effects.

Product variety

In terms of pouch size, ZYN uses the ‘mini’ format, which roughly measures 14mm by 28mm or 14mm by 32mm and weighs 0.4 grams. This size makes the pouch thinner, more lightweight, and significantly easier to use than other discreet nicotine pouch formats currently available on the market.

Meanwhile, the wide range of flavors enables pouch users to tailor the nicotine experience to their unique needs and preferences. Starting with one of the best-sellers, the ZYN wintergreen flavor provides an intensely refreshing and satisfying delivery with its menthol-based taste and subtle sweetness. It’s available in 3mg and 6mg strength for individuals with a light to normal smoking history, with each can containing 15 nicotine pouches.

Besides other mint-based flavors like spearmint, peppermint, and cool mint, ZYN flavor profiles include citrus, cinnamon, coffee, and unflavored. These flavored and unflavored pouches also come in strengths ranging from 3mg to 6mg, with the mini pouch format offered in one can, 5-pack, 10-pack, 30-pack, and 50-pack options for increased customization.

Price range

Since ZYN’s nicotine pouches are designed to be alternatives to traditional tobacco products, they are relatively more affordable than cigarettes. To illustrate, a can of ZYN pouches retails at $5 compared to a pack of cigarettes priced at an average of $8. 

The price per unit becomes much cheaper when consumers buy from retailers with special promos and discounts for larger purchases, such as the 30-pack and 50-pack options. Overall, ZYN’s price point demonstrates why the brand has a retail volume of 104.5 million cans in 2023, accounting for more than three-quarters (77%) of the total retail value share.

Distribution channels

Currently, ZYN nicotine pouches are available offline at local pharmacies, grocery stores, and convenience stores, as well as online on e-commerce platforms and official retailers’ websites. On one hand, offline distribution facilitates convenience and ease of access, while online retail ensures customers can better find the broad selection of ZYN’s flavors and strength options. 

Considering Philip Morris International, which recently acquired Swedish Match and its brand ZYN, has reported a 65.7% growth in the shipment of ZYN pouches in 2023, consumers can expect more stocks of said pouches at brick-and-mortar stores.

Overall, ZYN nicotine pouches are a viable alternative to cigarettes due to their high-quality nicotine content and oral delivery format. Its positives include:

  • Lightweight pouch size and format
  • Discreet delivery
  • Wide range of flavors, strengths, and packs
  • Affordable prices
  • Availability via online and offline channels.

However, pouch users may still be concerned with the:

  • Lack of higher nicotine strengths for heavy smokers
  • Use of tobacco-derived nicotine instead of synthetic nicotine
  • Potential side effects, such as an upset stomach or mouth soreness.

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