Sting Free AB has received SEK27 million ($3.1 million) through an ownership dispersion. Investors include Curt Enzell, inventor of the snus pouch and former head of research at Tobaksbolaget (Swedish Match).
Sting Free has developed a product that prevents the familiar stinging sensation on the gum from snus and nicotine pouch consumption, widening the pool of potential consumers for snus and pouches (also see “Patching the Pouch,” Tobacco Reporter, July 2017).
The technology is applicable to both snus and tobacco-free nicotine pouches and has already been successfully produced in prototype series with industrial and unmodified snus packaging machines. Swedish Match has signed a nonexclusive license agreement for the new technology and several other Nordic and foreign producers are expected to do the same soon.
“The capital injection from the ownership dispersion enables the company to requisition national patents in about 40 countries, including all countries in Europe, as well as a capital base for coming industrial production,” said Sting Free CEO and founder Bengt Wiberg in a statement.
“We are very happy that so many prominent people and companies have chosen to invest in Sting Free AB.”
“Sting Free AB’s innovation can make it easier for many to switch to snus, as the burning sensation often constitutes an obstacle for smokers to convert to snus,” says Enzell.
In a market survey with 660 male and female Swedish snus users, Sting Free found that 40 percent of the respondents dislike the stinging of snus. Only 11 percent of women and 17 percent of men enjoy the sensation. In empirical tests with adult nicotine users who had never tried snus or nicotine pouches before, nine out of 10 thought the burning sensation was unpleasant while an equally high proportion considered the identical contents in a Sting Free technology pouch to be enjoyable.