Scandinavian Tobacco Group has launched a range of nicotine pouches in the UK.

The launch of the XQS range marks a significant step for STG as it looks to diversify its portfolio of brands and become less dependent on its core cigar business.

STG bought the Swedish-made XQS business last year and will launch in the UK in May.

It will be available in four flavours – Blueberry Mint, Tropical, Cool Ice and Arctic Freeze. The Blueberry and Tropical varieties contain 8mg of nicotine while Cool Ice is 9.6mg and Arctic Freeze 11.2mg.

The tins will each have an rsp of £5.50, which is typically £1 cheaper than market leaders British American Tobacco’s Velo and Japan Tobacco International’s Nordic Spirit.

XQS has been an established brand in Sweden for around 20 years and has recently expanded into new territories including Switzerland and South Africa. It is currently a top five brand in the Swedish market, which as a whole comprises over 300 nicotine pouch SKUs.

For its UK launch STG said the convenience and wholesale channels will be key, although it is also in listing discussions with the major supermarkets.

It said it will support the launch with a large consumer and trade marketing plan, as well as dedicated stands at a range of trade shows, including the National Convenience Show at the end of April. STG will also be providing point of sale material including large or small stockable units, clip strips or visibility units.

“We’re delighted to launch XQS in the UK as these pouches represent a great opportunity to support tobacco harm reduction in adult smokers,” said STG UK MD Gleb Pugacev.

“Nicotine pouch sales in the UK are really gathering pace now, and much of that growth is being driven by flavour. XQS is genuinely bringing something different to the nicotine pouch market with a smaller size and longer-lasting flavour, all for a lower price.

“With its authentic Swedish heritage, the brand truly embraces Scandinavia’s love of natural quality with flavours that taste just like they should, so we encourage retailers to stock up and get behind the launch, as we’re confident XQS will be a great success story in the UK.”