February 13, 2007

Head to Head! Boozy Gum

Today’s Head to Head battle royale is between two new sugarless gum flavors. Neither of these gums have any actual booze in them. You can’t count the presence of “sugar alcohols” — an ingredient used to enhance the sweetener in the gum.

Oddfact: People who have undergone gastric bypass surgery are especially sensitive to sugar alcohols.
Oddfact: Xylitol, also known as “wood sugar” has an antibacterial effect that may actually help to reverse some small cavities and prevent earaches. Also, research shows xylitol can increase bone density in rats.

“Sugarless” or “sugarfree” gum has about 35% fewer calories than gum with sugar. In other words, it has 65% of the calories of sugared gum (5 calories vs. 8 calories per piece). Before I read that on the package I would have imagined that it had maybe 25% of the calories of sugared gum. So 2 servings of this gum have more calories than one serving of gum with sugar. However, the calories in sugarless gum are absorbed more slowly than calories from sugared gum, which is important if you’re interested in blood glucose level.

Out competition today is based on flavor, though we will note other gum attributes. It is inspired by the fact that I noticed these gums being marketed with popular alcoholic drink flavors.

Booze Gum

Trident White Cool Colada™

Flavor 1

Name: Trident White Cool Colada™
Calories: 5
Serving Size: 2 pieces
Servings in package: 6
Contains milk-derived ingredient: Yes
Claims to strengthen and whiten teeth: Yes

Trident White’s claim to fame is that it is supposed to be chewed after meals to help clean and whiten your teeth. I prefer to actually brush my teeth, but I guess this stuff will do in a pinch. This flavor is touted as  New!  and  ARTIFICIALLY FLAVORED 

Piña colada means “strained pinapple.” The name of this flavor references “piña colada” by ripping off the “colada” part. “Cool Colada” means (in Spanglish, I guess) “cool strained” or “strained cool.” If you’re straining to look cool, this is the gum for you? What are these marketing people trying to tell us? “Strained cool” isn’t actually a flavor of booze, but I am betting that they want us to be thinking of a piña colada, especially since there is a picture of a coconut and a pinapple on the gum’s packaging.

Mouth Action: The gum has a crunchy coating that gives way to a soft gum inside. The crunchiness is a nice sensory experience, and the first flavor I noted was something similar to a coconut Lifesaver. It’s a tiny bit gritty/chalky, and has a high sweetness.

Kids View: “It’s really good and fruity!” (I suspect the sweetness here was the main appeal)

Booze Gum

Orbit™ Mint Mojito

Flavor 2

Name:Wrigley’s Orbit Just Brushed Feeling™ Mint Mojito
Calories: 5
Serving Size: 1 pieces
Servings in package: 14
Contains milk-derived ingredient: No
Claims to strengthen and whiten teeth: No
Wood Sugar: Yes

This gum claims to give you a  JUST BRUSHED CLEAN FEELING™ . That might be considered accurate if you’re an alcoholic, or if you like to rinse your mouth with Cuban cocktails after brushing. This is a very sketchy claim on their part, or an indicator of their target demographic.

This gum claims to be an  Exotic New Flavor. .

I must admit, mojito is one of my favorite drink flavors; a peppy combination of lime and spearmint. It seems completely logical for a chewing gum. Oh, and rum of course. This gum lacks rum flavor.

Mouth Action: This gum starts out soft and remains soft. During chewing, it becomes slightly stringy and smooth. The immediate flavor is spearmint, with a sour citric-acid tang which is not immediately identifiable as lime. However, with a shot of rum and a lot of squinting, you might actually imagine you’re drinking a mojito. The flavor of this gum lasts surprisingly long, although it doesn’t retain its tangy bite the whole way.

Kids View: “It tastes juicy and sparky.” (My daughter was not given an actual mojito for comparison.


Winner: Wrigley’s Orbit Just Brushed Feeling™ Mint Mojito. It’s easier to chew, the flavor is unique and especially refreshing, and it allows me to have the flavor of mojito without the social awkwardness of being drunk at an 11:00 meeting. If you like mojitos and gum, you really ought to give this stuff a try. I found mine at Target in North Dartmouth, MA. If you really like the stuff, they’ll sell you a 3-pack which is cheaper than getting them one-at-a-time from your usual confection-pusher.

Clearly, sugarless gum is the more healthy alternative to sugary candy AND inappropriate daytime drinking. So, in a sense, we are all winners in this battle.

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Posted by James at February 13, 2007 8:44 AM
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“It tastes juicy and sparky.” (My daughter was not given an actual mojito for comparison.

You're not a fun dad.

Posted by: DG at February 13, 2007 10:02 AM

This gum was excellent, thanks for sharing ;-)

Posted by: Cousin B at February 13, 2007 12:45 PM

Failed to mention:

Thanks to Ryan for first telling me he had seen Mojito-flavored gum.

Thanks to Sharon for first bringing it in to work so we could all try it!

Posted by: James at February 13, 2007 1:26 PM

On a side note I had a kick ass basil mojito on nantucket last fall. They substituted basil leaves for the normal mint. OH MY GOD best drink EVER.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at February 13, 2007 4:13 PM

Alcohol Gum flavors I'd like to see:

Black and Tan
Long Island Iced Tea
Chocolate Bock

Posted by: Derek at February 13, 2007 11:56 PM

See, I'm not much of an alcohol fan, so flavoring my drink with it would not really call to me. Never even HAD a mojito. They seem to have become big all of a sudden. I'm fine with spearmint or cinnamon gum.

Posted by: briwei at February 14, 2007 12:11 PM

Derek - have you tried Ben & Jerry's Black and Tan?

Posted by: Julie at February 15, 2007 10:42 AM

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