Since we recently discovered that Smith's Cafe Royale is now being sold in pots labelled "Gawith Hoggarth" I'd been meaning to pop into the store to find out which of Smith's snuffs are made by GH and which are made by Samuel Gawith.
Well I finally made the trip yesterday and the results were rather surprising.
They now have a selection of their own snuffs on display in the main part of the store, although most of them are still stacked up behind the counter. The stock levels were the highest I've ever seen - an entire 5 foot shelf stacked up with their own brand. But with the exception of the F&T range, the selection of other snuffs in stock had declined. I only saw two SG tap boxes (Peach and Strawberry), small tins of J&H Wilsons Top Mill, Red Bull and a single box of large Wilsons tins.
First surprise - every single one of the Smith's snuffs was in a plastic tub labelled Gawith Hoggarth. I spotted the following:
Attar of Roses
Strawberry (the "Wild" has been dropped).
I didn't see Cardinal Menthol, Cinnamon or Princes Dark but I couldn't read the labels of all the snuff behind the counter. If they were in stock, I can guarantee that they were in the same plastic tubs.
Another surprise was that they had large vacuum sealed tins of Samuel Gawith with a sticky label reading "Smith's Blend".
This is all a bit strange, especially as ermtony visited the SG factory a few years back and they told him that they made Golden Cardinal.
I can think of a couple of scenarios.
(1) Gawith Hoggarth are being supplied by Samuel Gawith with snuff which they are rebadging as "Smiths" snuff and adding the GH name to them.
(2) SG have lost the contract for producing the whole range of Smiths snuffs to GH and SG are now only supplying a single new snuff called "Smith's Blend".
Yet another surprise - these 25g GH tubs are now a bollock-shrivelling £7.80 apiece. Given that My Smoking Shop are selling the same GH tubs at £2.09, I think the old argument that the high business rates on a central London shop justified the price can now be replaced with a charge of blatant profiteering.
There was no sign of the old 10g tins so they appear to have been dropped from the range.