America’s Choice Superfresh Peppermint

America's Choice Superfresh PeppermintTexture: Growing up in a tightly budgeted household, I’ve developed an appreciation for store-brand grocery products. In many cases, I even prefer the store brand to brand name products, and have come to refer to them by their strange, generic titles– “Pick up a pack of Shoprite Chocolate Stripe Cookies while you’re out?” A true connoisseur of store brands, however, understands that there are things you buy store brand (cookies), and things you don’t buy store brand (frozen pizza). In this case, folks, we’re in luck. The texture here is of standard pellet construction– crunchy start, consistent finish. It doesn’t stale and maintains a nice bite throughout the chew. The pieces are a little small for me after a while, but I find that’s true with most pellet gums.

Flavor: It’s a fine representation of the peppermint flavor we all know and love, slightly sweet at first, followed by a cooling, fresh mint flavor that lasts and lasts. It doesn’t last forever, in this case, but long enough for a refreshing half hour chew. And if you want more, just take another from the whopping twenty pieces you’re afforded in each pack.

Presentation: Ok, so the design leaves something to be desired. But what do you want from a store-brand? It almost is helpful that the design is sort of lo-fi and cheesy, as it signals the bargain nerve in your brain that shouts “That looks crappy, so it must be cheap!” When I was a kid, my mom would buy products that came in all-white packaging with plain black lettering that said “NO FRILLS” on the front and indicated the exact title of the product (“MICROWAVABLE MACARONI AND CHEESE;” or “CANNED BEETS”) beneath it. And who cares about a design when you discover there are not one– but TWO sleeves of pellets to enjoy inside!

Overall: America’s Choice gum ought to be a true competitor against such gum giants as Dentyne Ice and Trident. Indeed, they surpass all of the others in cost alone– I paid $1.09 for this pack, which contained twice as many pellets as a brand-name package (at a higher cost, no less). Next time you’re in Pathmark or Safeway or A&P or whatever local grocery store near you carries American Choice, grab a pack or two and delight in the inexpensive sensation of Superfresh!

Rating: oooo (four gumballs)