Flavor: Freshen-up Bubblegum is, to me, a classic, and the bubblegum flavor here stands true to the historic flavor we all know and love. The gel inside the gum isn’t overly sweet, and adds a gooey burst of flavor upon the first bite. Although my pack was rather stale, I remember back in the day the goo being plentiful and lending itself to the hydrating sensation now found in gums like Orbit Mist. The flavor only lasts for a couple of minutes, but I think they were going for much more than just long-lasting flavor here.
Texture: This gum was way ahead of its time. The grandparent of the now popular liquid-filled pellet gum, Freshen-up was among the first (if not the first) commercial gums to explore the concept that gum could be more than just a chewy, flavored stick. Gum is a treat, a kind of candy, dating back to the five-and-dime gumballs cupped in the palm of a twelve-year-old boy, alongside licorice and chocolates. This gum recognized the importance of the first bite for some people– how for some, it doesn’t matter how long the flavor lasts or how malleable the chew is after ten minutes. For some people, it’s all about that burst of flavor right at the start. Getting to chew it for longer than a gummy bear, well that’s just an added bonus. It’s a whole different market, and it’s given birth to such diverse favorites as Dentyne Pure and Bubblicious Mango Peach Bursts.
Presentation: Celebrating thirty-five years on the market, this gum has always been a fierce competitor for flashier packages and cheap (although effective) gimmicks. It’s packaging hasn’t changed for as long as I can remember, metallic pink and an illustration of an oozing piece of gum. It’s simple, unassuming, and blends in with all the others on the rack if you’re not looking for it.
Overall: I have to admit that when I mention this gum to my friends, no one can ever really remember the name of it, although most do recount fond memories of a pack in their pockets in grammar school. I can’t remember the last time I saw someone pull a piece of Freshen-up out of a bag and start chewing. Does anyone still buy Freshen-up? Or are the packs in the stores as fresh as the day I bought them fifteen years ago?
Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)