Orbit Perfect Peach

Flavor: Orbit’s new Perfect Peach is true to its name – it tastes like peach, and there’s something to be said for that. Peach is a rare flavor in candy nowadays, with the exception of old standbys like Jolly Ranchers and Haribo Gummies. Most often peach is mixed in with other fruity flavors, but it’s a great fruit, and I’m glad to see Orbit give peach its day in the sun. The flavor burst is tangy and sweet, but once the flavor fades, it becomes almost too sweet, although it does stick around for a while. A truly “perfect” peach would stay nice and tangy from start to finish.

Texture: Awesome. Initial bite is a perfect blend of firm and soft, and it melds into an absolutely incredible wad. You can pop and crack it, and blow bubbles, and the texture remains true until you dispose of the piece. It feels almost “shiny” in your mouth, if you can imagine it.

Presentation: A simple, no-frills orange-yellow, with a subtle pointillist peach behind the Orbit logo. Pleasing to the eye, but nothing special.

Overall: When I first chewed this gum, the first pack was gone in a flash, and I told my sister that it was the most amazing new gum to come along since Orbit Mist Peppermint Spray. But the more I chew, the more sick I get of the sweetness. Maybe, as our friend Chris suggested, I burned myself out on it, but I just don’t find myself devouring this like I did at first. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic gum that deserves much praise. Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Orbit Mist Raspberry Lemon Dew

Flavor: The newest addition to the Orbit Mist family is the sweet-tart Raspberry Lemon Dew. When I offered a piece of this gum to my husband, he refused it, saying that raspberry lemonade “isn’t a flavor gum should be.” Au contraire, mon ami. The Orbit Mist line prides itself on being the “wettest gum in the world,” and its packaging proudly calls out “a hydrating sensation.” What’s more hydrating on a hot summer day than a nice tall glass of lemonade? The flavor here is spot-on, it’s like they took the chemical flavor profile of a canister of Country Time powder and added chicle to it. It’s really fantastic, starts out strong and then fades to be very mellow, but never loses its tang completely.

Texture: Near perfection. As noted many times previously, I’m a big fan of “crunchies” in gum in whatever form, and the micro-bursts(tm) provide just the right amount of grit before dissolving themselves into the gum. The wad itself is soft and pliable, and lends itself greatly to cracking and snapping. It even blows pretty good bubbles if you stick with it.

Presentation: The graphic design on the Orbit Mist line is pleasing to the eye, generally. They get their “hydrating” message across in an effective way by incorporating subtle “ripples” in the cool blue semi-metallic inks. The purple and yellow in the circular “burst” touting the flavor work surprizingly well together, and the little raspberry-lemon icons are charmingly cartoonish.

Overall: The packaging here really lets you know what to expect, and the gum does not let you down. I bought a single pack of this gum about a week ago and it was gone within two days, and I recently replenished my supply with a 3-pack, and have chewed through half of it before finally sitting down and writing this review. It’s a gum I find myself reaching for and popping stick after stick in my mouth. I think this, along with Orbit’s new Perfect Peach (to be reviewed next week) are going to be my “summer gums” this season. It’s just right.Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Mentos Pure White Sweet Mint

Flavor : Our friend Sidney, an avid reader of Gumalert, suggested we review his new favorite gum. This line of Mentos has been on my review queue for a while now, and I was pleased to begin the fun with Sweet Mint. It tastes a lot like the other varieties, in fact, I have three flavors in my purse and have been chewing them interchangeably without any prejudice to the color of the bottle. The Sweet Mint doesn’t taste traditionally sweet to me, per say, it’s a fairly standard cooling mint– but there’s a definite hint of sweetness, reminiscent of Dentyne Ice Vanilla Chill (which we’ve not yet reviewed… I’ve yet to have the self-control to save a piece in time to review it. It’s really good). In fact, I think this pails in comparison to the Dentyne Ice Vanilla Chill (except in texture– the Mentos has a nice, refreshing first bite, a satisfying crunch, but the flavor piddles off rather quickly).

Texture : The first time I enjoyed a Mentos candy as a child, I chewed far longer than one is intended to chew a candy pellet before swallowing. The trouble was that I assumed it was gum, and it mysteriously dissolved in my mouth. I was sort of ashamed to ask my mother for another piece so soon– feeling as though I’d done something wrong to chew a gum to oblivion in a matter of seconds. The texture of this gum, and all of the newer Mentos gums, is a treat for folks like me who expect the pleasure of Mentos to last and last. It’s crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. After about fifteen minutes of chewing, it loses flavor and is a little dry, but it sure lasts longer than a Mentos candy, and that’s a good thing.

Presentation : This is a new kind of packaging, a hard plastic shell, similar to the Hubba Bubba Glop plastic casing. Although it can’t fit in your pocket, it’s a sturdy substitute for the standard paper pack. The fact that it is plastic, however, in this increasingly eco-friendly culture, was a little disconcerting at first– until I saw that it is, indeed, a recyclable container. I expect this fact might be lost on many, many chewers however, and most plastic bottles will be tossed with the rest of the gum wrappers, and will lead to a wasteful bunch of plastic in our ever-growing landfills (no lectures intended, honest). It sure does keep the gum fresh and easily accessible, regardless.

Overall : It’s a good gum, and it’s Sidney’s favorite. Overall, I thought it was ok, but wasn’t too impressed. I prefer Trident Minty Sweet Twist, or Dentyne Vanilla Chill. I may buy Mentos gum again as a little treat, but I doubt I’ll be buying the Sweet Mint again.

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Dentyne pure – Mint with Melon Accents

Flavor: This new gum by Dentyne is just fantastic. It packs a punch on first bite, but it’s not so cold that it would make your sinuses hurt on a cold day. Although the package labels this gum as “mint,” it’s pretty obviously a spearmint. The self-described “Melon Accents” are just that, accents, and you really have to pay attention to notice them. I’m not quite sure what the claims of breath purification mean, but apparently the addition of something called “NeutraFRESH” is what makes it happen. Research on NeutraFRESH doesn’t yeild much information, but I’m sure it’s yet another concoction of chemicals (Retsyn, anyone?) that will eventually lead to our demise. But, for now, NeutraFRESH seems to do a fine job of freshening (purifying) the breath and giving your mouth a clean feeling. There’s a liquid goo in the center, though it’s not advertised on the package. (I imagine that’s the NeutraFRESH. The sweet, sweet NeutraFRESH.)
Texture: With such a good flavor profile and hiply designed packaging, you’d think that Cadbury would have paid more attention to the chewability of the gum. Like most pellet gums, you’re presented with a candy shell that provides initial crunch, and then dissolves. The gum that’s left here is way too soft, and it doesn’t seem to be firming up the longer I chew. It’s almost mushy. Between the liquid center, the crunchy shell, and the mushy texture, there’s just too much going on here.
Presentation: Although it’s the standard pop-out pellet blister pack, the package itself is very nicely done, featuring those “swirlies” that are so popular now. It’s really playing up to the iPod generation. I imagine my New York hipster friend, who doesn’t own a television and rides his bike everywhere he goes, pulling this gum out of his pocket and offering me a piece as he tries to cleanse his palate of the taste of a soy latte.
Overall: This would be a fantastic, 5-gumball gum if it weren’t for the awful texture. It’s definitely worth a chew, though, even if only for the NeutraFRESH. And it sure does look impressive when you pull it out at your Favorite Band That No One’s Ever Heard of show in the Village.Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Stride Eternal Melon

Flavor: I’d have to say that with all the hubbub about the new fun Stride flavors (Stride Mega Mystery, Stride Shift Citrus + Mint, Stride Shift Berry + Mint), this tastes the most kid-friendly to me. It’s not super sweet, but compared to other melon gums out there, it lends itself much more to the watermelon flavor we’re used to tasting, a mellowed-out Bubblicious, if you will. But I’m not sure it’s not something exclusively kids would like, per say, and not necessarily adults, either. It’s a tweener melon, the Justin Bieber of the gum world, appealing to both middle aged women and six-year-old girls. But is he…excuse me, it… enough for either?

Texture: Bieber Melon, like most Stride gums, offers a pleasant, consistent chew. The flavor lasts and lasts, and the texture never gets mushy or stiff. Unfortunately for me, as all of my Stride reviews have indicated, it gives me sores in my mouth, so this will be my last stick in the pack.

Presentation: The color of the package itself screams “lime” to me, it’s about as lime green as lime can be. I suppose this works, seeing as the “Nickelodeon green” seems to be working for Stride in the Shift realm. It catches your eye, and it’s simple– once again appealing to a wide variety of audiences. It’s an obnoxious enough color that kids will be begging for it, but not quite as shameful for a grown adult to pull out of her purse as, say, Bubbletape (but it’s worth it, every time).

Overall: This gum is named “Eternal Melon.” Is it ageless, timeless, beyond the boundaries of our concept of the space-time continuum? Much like our lauded Mr. Bieber, I think it’s all right, but it’s going to get old sooner or later.

Rating: ooo (three gumballs )

Extra Fruit Sensations – Sweet Tropical

Flavor: This was the gum that broke me of my gum fast. I could not resist its juicy temptation. If you’re a regular Gum Alert reader (and why wouldn’t you be?) you will know that I have been on a soy-free diet because I’m currently nursing my 4-month old daughter, and she’s got some allergy issues. Recently I’ve been slowly adding back soy into my diet, and I saw this new Extra flavor on the shelf and I just had to pick it up. I did not make the wrong choice. This is the best fruit gum I’ve had in a long, long time. Super tangy at first bite, mellowing into a “sweet tropical” medley that last an extra, extra, extra long time.

Texture: This is what it’s all about. It starts off nice, and stays malleable, and perfectly tough. There is a brief interlude of borderline too-toughness, but it’s so brief that it’s barely noticeable. Most Fruit Sensations flavors will eventually soften and degrade until the wad is a thousand pieces of gag-inducing plasma balls that you’ll be coughing up for hours, but this one stays nice for the long haul. I’ve been chewing for about 15 minutes now, and there’s no sign of cohesion loss.

Presentation: It’s a pleasant teal blue color reminiscent of the Caribbean Sea, fading into large pictures of an orange, grapefruit and pineapple. Like Orbit Berry Red, the package boasts “TASTES LIKE REAL FRUIT.” I don’t know what the gum companies are thinking with this logic. It doesn’t taste like real fruit. Sucralose, Aspartame and the like will never taste like naturally-occurring Fructose no matter how they combine them. And truth be told, I think that chewers are okay with that, but I don’t think we’re okay with being misled.

Overall: I feel really bad for Extra, they’re like the bastard stepchild of gums. Extra is a really great gum, but they’re falling into the background of Orbit, Stride and Trident. It’s a damn shame, because Extra really does put out some great flavors, and Sweet Tropical is at the top of the list. I’m just afraid that it will fall by the wayside and be outshined and overlooked for a fancy new 5, or an old favorite. If you see this one on the checkout line, pick up a pack. You won’t be sorry. And if you are, just send the rest of the pack to me. I’ll get rid of it for you.Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Orbit Berry Red

Flavor: Everyone with whom I shared this gum had about the same reaction upon the first bite– “This is pretty good!” Everyone seems a little surprised by it, even, suggesting that the packaging might be amiss somehow. Regardless, I, too, was quite pleased with this new Orbit flavor. “Berry Red” is sort of vague, but so is the flavor. It tastes mostly of strawberry to me, but more importantly, Shannon brought to my attention that it tastes an awful lot like our old discontinued favorite, Extra Original. It’s sweet and pleasant, without any claims to “mint” like many fruity gums are trying to attempt these days. It’s a classic flavor, nothing earth-shattering but good nonetheless.

Texture: Every stick of this gum that I’ve had so far has provided a solid chew, not too soft, not too hard. My present chewing situation is a bit “fizzy,” or sort of bubbly between the teeth, if you will, but I imagine this has more to do with the pint of seltzer I drank beforehand than anything else.
Presentation: Again, something is not right here. It’s very simple in its packaging, just as it is in flavor. It looks a lot like older Orbit packaging, and is a solid dark pink with vague berry drawings beneath the label. At once I really appreciate the minimalist approach here, and wish it were more. I feel like a lot of people might not be expecting much from this boring package, and so might not buy it over something with more pizazz, like, say, Stride Shift Citrus + Mint (ERROR ERROR FAIL DO NOT PASS GO ABORT MISSION ABORT ABORT DO NOT BUY). One real complaint I do have about the packaging is the phrase “Tastes like real fruit.” I can’t imagine what “real fruit” this is supposed to taste like, but I certainly wouldn’t like to eat it in a pie or spread on my bread with peanut butter. It’s tacky candy phony sweet. It is what it is.

Overall: It’s so much like our old favorite, I have to admit I’m a little bias here. I wonder if it, too, like its extinct predecessor, will vanish into the historic gum abyss eventually. All we can do is wait and see, and say “thank you” to Orbit for taking us back, if only for a brief chew.

Rating: oooo (four gumballs )

Clark’s Teaberry Gum

Flavor: Clark’s Teaberry is an old-timey looking gum with an old-timey, mild flavor. It’s a super smooth, easy-to-chew minty stick. It’s a pretty generic mint flavor, though if I had to classify, I’d say it’s closest to a wintergreen. The flavor fades quickly, and after you remove your wad, you’re left with the standard bitter aftertaste you get with most sugar-based gums.

Texture: It starts off a little tough, but quickly softens up to a perfect softness. Unfortunately, it’s a little sticky to the teeth, and it has one of the worst squeaks I’ve experienced since Wrigley’s 5 Flare.

Presentation: Clark’s Teaberry gum has been around since 1900, and it looks like the packaging has remained the same since. It’s a no-frills, retro packaging that warms the heart and reminds one of easier, simpler days. The sticks themselves are wrapped in coordinating paper sleeves with the simple Clark’s tree logo.

Overall: Check out this advertisement from the 60’s:
That about says it all. Teaberry gum is such a cute, sweet throwback to the days of old. While I don’t find my feet running away with themselves and doing a little shuffle every time I pop a stick in my mouth, I do find myself reaching for it more often than other soy-free gums I’ve purchased.
Overall: ooo (three gumballs)