Flavor: From what I understand, this whole Stride 2.0 thing is supposed to be an improved formula that enhances the chewer’s experience in some way (they even preemptively say “you’re welcome” on the inside of the package for doing you the favor). As we’ve witnessed in the comments on our review of Stride 2.0 Spearmint, however, Stride fans aren’t finding much improvement in the formula at all– in fact, you all are pretty angry about the change. And I don’t blame you. Original Stride Forever Fruit was bursting with flavor, so much so that if you weren’t totally in love with it, it could be a bit overwhelming. Forever Fruit 2.0 hardly has any flavor at all– hints of that original mango flavor are there, but are subdued so much that it’s frustrating to even try to detect a flavor at all. I don’t see any improvement here. I don’t remember there ever being a problem with how long the flavor lasted for any Stride flavor, so if that’s the improvement, there wasn’t anything that needed fixing in the first place.
Texture: The texture is softer than I remember the Original Forever Fruit (Stride 1.0?) being, and it gets mushy quickly. They certainly didn’t improve any formulation here.
Presentation: The integration of design on the plastic protective wrapping has become increasingly popular in the gum market. This is an interesting and innovative move, but the wrapper is removed immediately upon purchase, so it really has no impact other than selling you the product. Orbit uses this technique nicely in their new fashion packs, as most of the labeling and need-to-know-before-purchase information is presented on the outer wrapper, and once you’re through making your educated decision on what gum to buy, you remove the jargon and are left with a a clean, funky pack that you can coordinate with your outfits. I took the wrapper off this particular pack of gum, so it’s not pictured here. The wrapper design featured a half-zipped zipper, unveiling the new formula right before your very eyes. If only Stride unveiled it before your very tastebuds.
Overall: I was in Quick Check with my father the other day and he bought 12 packs of Original Stride Non-Stop Mint because he’s so disgusted by the new 2.0 line and dismayed that he’ll have to say goodbye to his favorite flavor. It’s a very risky campaign– totally renovating an entire line of a product, especially in a market so addictive and personal as gum. You’ll sell plenty of gum by enticing customers to try something new and exciting using a clever marketing campaign. But you’ll sell more packs to people like my father, who swear by their flavor and brand. They’ve selected their flavor, and they will continue to buy it for as long as it’s on the shelves. This borders on betrayal for guys like him. If you want to launch a 2.0 gum, it’s wise to launch a sister line, rather than replace the old one entirely. As is the case here, many loyal chewers will find a new brand to call their own.
Rating: o (one gumball)