Juicy Fruit Sweet Berry

Flavor: Awesome. This is a juicy, tangy fruit explosion. It’s a sugar- and guilt-free sweet treat. Starts off really potent and settles down into a nice, smooth flavor. Highly recommended.

Texture: Standard pellet crunch, followed by about 5 – 10 minutes of near perfection. This gum is easy to chew and a pleasure to pop , but after 10 minutes or so, starts getting overly sticky and kinda mushy. If you’re looking for a quick chew, this one fits the bill nicely.

Presentation: I’ve been unable to find this gum in any format other than the plastic 60-piece “Big-e-pak” tub. Usually I’m put-off by that, but this one has been just fine with me because I’ve chewed through two of them before getting around to reviewing this. I like the graphics: dew-kissed grapes and blueberries on a simple purple background. Not sure they needed to include an illustrated piece of gum itself, however.

Overall: This totally should have been the flavor of Juicy Fruit Juicy Secret, instead of the Berry Pearadise rip-off debauchle it is. It’s recognizable as both grape and berry, but also vague enough that it would have kept people guessing. As it is, though, it’s really a fantastic offering from Juicy Fruit, probably my favorite from the (continually expanding) line. You’re almost forgiven, JF. Almost.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

vitamingum Peppermint

This review is sponsored by our friends at vitamingum!

Flavor : Brrrr. I’m usually not a fan of peppermint gum, as the cooling sensation tends to be a little too strong for my tastes– something about those Halls menthol sinus-clearing fumes that just doesn’t do it for me. vitamingum, however, has produced a much more delicate cooling sensation here. It’s subtle, well-balanced, and lasts as long as the other, more pungent varieties.

Texture : The pieces are a little small, but that’s a matter of preference. I popped a second in my mouth and was satisfied, and discovered that a proper serving size, according to the package, is indeed two pieces. That said, it’s as balanced a texture as it is a flavor, and provides a consistency that doesn’t harden or stale the longer you chew.

Presentation : There’s a characterization of flavors that happens in the gum world (and the candy world in general) that doesn’t necessarily correspond with the natural properties of the flavors represented. An “apple” flavored lollipop doesn’t really taste like an actual apple in most cases, nor does a piece of watermelon Hubba Bubba remind you of a cool wedge of fruit on a hot summer day. Take the packaging of the flavor spearmint. When you think of it, what color comes to mind? Green, right? Well, what about Peppermint? When I think of peppermint, I think of the green leafy stuff that nice ladies grow in terracotta pots in the summertime. But what about in the gum world? I did a quick Google image search on the word “Peppermint,” and here’s what came up:

Meanwhile, a search for the words “Peppermint gum” produced this result:

What what what? How did that green leafy plant become this crazy blue color? The peppermint plant itself doesn’t even appear on any of the packages, replaced by swirls and lightning bolts and electric shock stuff. I’m guessing the blue-ness is an interpretation of the distinct cooling sensation present in peppermint that is missing in lots of other mint varieties– a cool, glacier-blue flavor that refreshes your whole mouth and leaves you feeling brisk and alive and skiing in the alps on your coffee table! Brrr! (York Peppermint Patty commercials… anyone?) I respect this artistic rendition of the peppermint I know and love, and hey, vitamingum even puts a leaf on the pack!

Overall : It’s good for you, too! (Well, it has vitamins, anyway.) Although 10 percent of your daily vitamins in one serving of vitamingum might not sound like a lot, I can’t imagine chewing the entirety of this pack in any less than a day or two. So you say, (stand back… I’m going to try math) 12 pieces to a pack, 2 pieces to a serving, 10 percent of vitamins per serving and… um… well… it’s still better than nothing, right? I don’t know, you figure it out.

Rating :ooooo (five gumballs )

Juicy Fruit Juicy Secret

Flavor: I’m on to you, Wrigley’s. I know this gum, and your “Juicy Secret” is about to be blown wide open. This is no Juicy Fruit. It’s not even from the same planet as Juicy Fruit. This is Extra Fruit Sensations Berry Pearadise. Is it any coincidence that Extra’s website no longer lists that flavor? I think not. Oh, Wrigley’s. Perhaps this little stunt will fool gum amateurs, but true gum enthusiasts will not be swayed by your ruse. We know what’s going on. That said, I was always a lover of Berry Pearadise. The tang at first bite awakens the taste buds and fills your mouth with juicy goodness. You can taste the berry and the pear quite vividly. However, after the first few chomps, the flavor fades to generic aspartame-berry.

Texture: At first, okay, but this gum is way sticky. Don’t try to blow any bubbles with this one or you’ll be scraping a gooey film off your lips for the better part of an hour. The longer you chew, the less cohesive this gum becomes. I’ve only gone 10 minutes or so, but I think this might be one of those gums that turns into plasma balls and stimulates my gag reflex, as is common with other Extra Fruit Sensations flavors.

Presentation: Come ON, Wrigley’s! There might as well be a giant “S” on the front. Not only do you blatantly rip off the gum itself, but you ripped off Stride’s Mega Mystery packaging concept, too. I can just see the marketing meeting, “What should the packaging be like?” “Well, Stride’s mystery flavor is rainbow colors and question marks.” “So shall ours be, then!” Really, Wrigley’s? Really?

Overall: If I’d had the foresight to review Berry Pearadise before it went the way of Original Bubble, this gum would have gotten a far higher review. But since it’s a total rip-off in every way imaginable, I’m going to go ahead and declare massive fail on this one.

Rating: o (one gumball)

Trident Vitality Vigorate

Flavor : The “burst of citrus and strawberry with vitamin C” here tastes an awful lot like the rainbow to me. The flavor at first is reminiscent of orange Skittles, in a good way, but is as fleeting as the goo inside the pellet. There is a nice cooling sensation that lasts throughout the whole chew, and the flavor is pleasant enough for a while, but it’s nothing that Orbit Citrusmint hasn’t done before (and better).

Texture : The first bite is a lot like a Skittle texture-wise as well, one that’s been sitting out in the sun for a few minutes and is nice and soft inside. But after the crunch is gone, it’s all mush. It falls apart as you chew, which to me is one of the worst qualities in a gum. Not everyone wants a firm gum, and it’s refreshing to see variety in textures that appeal to different preferences. “Crumbly,” however, is not a characteristic of gum at all. In fact, it’s the opposite of what a gum should be.

Presentation : Shannon discussed the misleading health claims that Trident is employing with this new line of gum in her review of Trident Vitality Awaken. Sure, there are maybe some traces of vitamin C here, but you shouldn’t be supplementing a good old fashioned orange with this a pack of Vigorate. I secretly expected a little burst of energy when I chewed my first piece, but it did little to quell the three o’clock work doldrums. The pack is clean and well designed, and I do actually like the aesthetic of the flap that clicks when you close it, even if it doesn’t actually do anything.

Overall : If you’re in the market for a mid-afternoon boost of vitamin C to get you through the day, don’t bother with Vitality. Have an orange, some tomato salad, or a handful of strawberries (dipped in chocolate if you’re feeling particularly droopy). If you’re looking for a sweet post-meal treat to replace that bag of Skittles you’ve been eyeing in the vending machine since breakfast, then go ahead and stash a pack in your desk drawer. It’s ok.

Rating : ooo (three gumballs )

mentos Red Fruit & Lime

This review is sponsored by our friends at mentos!

Flavor: I think it’s hysterical that Mentos went with the term “Red Fruit.” That really takes some accountability away, huh? The package features raspberries, strawberries and… cranberries? Sure, they’re red! Let’s throw some cranberries in there! I’m sure they would have included cherries, Macintosh Apples, pomegranates and perhaps even tomatoes as well, but they were running out of room on the bottle. Humor aside, this is really nice. It’s a sweet fruit (I’d probably call it more strawberry than anything) with a nice little burst of lime at the outset that’s not too overwhelming at all. Really good.

Texture: We start off with a familiar crunch: Oh yes, this is a mento. But instead of the gritty, grainy sugar filling, we’re surprized with a fantastically textured gum. Starts out nice and soft and stays that way. With extended chewing it does get a slight bit waxy-feeling, but in a good way, if you can imagine that. Doesn’t stick to the teeth, no squeak to be heard.

Presentation: As I’ve mentioned before in my review of mentos Pure Fresh Wintergreen, I love the little plastic tubes that mentos gum comes in. The graphics on this particular flavor are fine, nothing spectacular aside from the abundance of “red fruits.”

Overall: I love this gum. I’ve been holding onto these last two pieces for a couple weeks now, waiting for my chance to review it. It’s a nice sweet treat that’s easy on the teeth and taste buds. By far my favorite from the mentos line, perhaps my favorite pellet gum, in general. Two thumbs way up from this Gum Girl.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Wrigley’s 5 Vortex

Flavor: vortex [ˈvɔːtɛks] n 1. (Physics / General Physics) a whirling mass or rotary motion in a liquid, gas, flame, etc., such as the spiralling movement of water around a whirlpool2. any activity, situation, or way of life regarded as irresistibly engulfing. Um… guys? This gum is sour apple. I mean, I suppose the initial overwhelming flavor burst and permeating odor of this gum can be considered “irresistibly engulfing” (if you’re into that sort of thing), but what the heck does it have to do with apples? Frankly, I’m getting a little tired of this whole 5 enterprise. At first, it was interesting, the flavors were sort of mysterious and fun, but now it seems like they’re really stretching it. Call an apple an apple, man. Hubba Bubba would.
Texture: 5 always has a pretty good texture. But as long as the texture lasts, the flavor dissipates and you’re left with this sort of cold blob floating around in your mouth making your breath stink. I’ve never really been a fan of green apple though, admittedly, so others might disagree on this point… but since elementary school, I’ve thought that green apple flavor gives you stank-breath.
Presentation: I just want to take a moment to talk about the new trend in gum to print all of the important nutritious information on the plastic outer covering of the packs of gum, which is removed upon consumption. In many cases this can be a problem– what if you want to take a minute to look at the chemicals you’re compulsively inserting into your mouth? Of course, most people refer to the nutrition labels only when purchasing a product, but I’ve found that on more than one occasion I’ve been faced with a predicament– a vegetarian friend or one who’s keeping Kosher will ask if my gum contains gelatin and I’ll be unable to answer with confidence without running out to buy a fresh pack. I understand the aesthetic appeal of the clean “fashion pack” that’s becoming so popular these days, but I think there’s a value to including the information right where you can see it any time– the Surgeon’s General Warning on a pack of cigarettes, after all, is on the pack itself, not the plastic outer shell. Regardless, on this particular package, even the flavor itself is eliminated once the outer shell is removed. But then… the smell is so pungent that I doubt you’ll ever be referring to the pack to tell you the whole room stinks like sour apple.
Overall: Elch. This is a successful sugar-free sour apple, but I can’t imagine a set of adult taste buds out there that could endure this kind of experience. I don’t think the funky red and green explosion stripes are enough on the packaging here– I suggest Wrigley get some bubble letters on this pack, slap a sunglasses-wearing cartoon apple dude on there, and sell this stuff on the playground, where it belongs.
Rating: oo (two gumballs )

Stride Spark Kinetic Mint

Flavor: The first few times I chewed Stride Spark Kinetic Mint I was really impressed, but the more pieces I chomp upon, the scarier this gum becomes. Not only is the gum infused with vitamins, it also seems to be infused with a blend of spices, or chemicals, or some other weird substance that causes the mint to have a “peppery” feel to it. It’s reminiscent of the “electric” sensation I felt with Wrigley’s 5 Prism. I find that if I leave the gum in one place for too long, I start to feel a weird tingling sensation that quickly turns to burning. Maybe that’s the “spark” that Stride is going for with this, but it’s really quite unsettling. That being said, it’s an adequate mint that does freshen the breath.

Texture: Aside from the aforementioned burning sensation, the texture of this gum is really fantastic. No complaints from first chew to wad disposal, it’s pliable and has some meatiness to it.

Presentation: Cute, I suppose. Nothing about the packaging really calls out to me. It’s a standard Stride wallet pack featuring the recognizable “S” logo on a semi-shiny silver background with some “electric” graphics. Seems like a wasted opportunity to do something really cool, graphically.

Overall: The package claims that “Vitamins B6 and B12 help release energy in the body.” That’s a nice enough claim, and all… but really? What does that even mean? There’s not even any indication on the pack how much of these vitamins the gum contains. With the rush of health-infusion gums hitting the market as of late, I really think that these manufacturers need to go above and beyond to stand out from the rest of the pack. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun chew and I certainly don’t hate it, but after the whole “Shift” episode, they really needed to step out of the gate with something phenomenal, and this isn’t it. At least it’s not as bad as Trident Vitality.

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

vitamingum Spearmint

This review is sponsored by our friends at vitamingum!

Flavor : The flavor here is very subtle from the get-go. It’s a not-too-powerful version of the classic spearmint flavor, and it pretty much tastes exactly how you’d expect it to taste. Although I personally wish the flavor were stronger, I’m sure many people are tired of the new trend in gum that tries to slam you with flavor on the first bite and literally takes your breath away.

Texture : As Shannon mentioned in her review of vitamingum Cinnamon, in order to get at least 30 percent of all your daily vitamins, you’d have to chew six pieces of vitamingum. Now this sounds like a lot, but these pieces are so small that I can’t imagine myself chewing just one at a time again. I’m not a two-piece chewer usually, but the gum disintegrates quickly and there’s not much substance there. The texture, though, is a fine balance of firm and soft and lasts for at least ten minutes (…which is a good thing, because the directions on the package instruct you to chew for that long, at least. More on that in a bit.)

Presentation : Shannon described the packaging of the vitamingum line quite succinctly in her review. I have to say that my favorite thing about the packaging is that this gum comes with directions, in case you’re totally befuddled by this product: “Directions: Chew gum 5-10 minutes to ensure release of nutrients.” I’m a fan of really obvious directions, the likes of Pop Tarts, “Open pouch, insert in toaster, enjoy.” But I suppose the vitamingum instructions aren’t entirely unnecessary, as someone who is using this gum as solely a vitamin supplement might assume that a few quick bites would do the trick. I think they’re really creatively written, too– “to ensure release of nutrients” sounds very serious and scientific, as opposed to something like “to make your blood way more healthy-like.”

Overall : Folks in Texas probably would not be a fan of this gum. There’s nothing big here– little flavor, little pieces, a little bit of vitamins. But not everyone is in the market for these new-fangled, over-the-top gums in shiny florescent packs. Some people are looking for a little piece of gum to freshen the breath and add a little bit of health to their day. For them, this gum is a breath of fresh air in a market dominated by gimmicks and liquid-centered-flavor-bombs.

Rating : ooooo (five gumballs )

vitamingum Cinnamon

This review is sponsored by our friends at vitamingum!

Flavor: Cinnamon seems to be a hard flavor to get right in the gum world, and a really good cinnamon gum is hard to find. I always tend to judge cinnamon gums against my all-time favorite cinnamon treat, the Atomic Fireball. To me, the Atomic Fireball was always so perfect – it had a brief period of mouth-tingling hotness, and just when you think it’s getting to be too hot to handle, the sweet layer kicks in and lulls the fire into a perfect warmth. This gum is pretty similar to that – starts off awesomely strong, and settles down nicely. vitamingum really did a nice job with the cinnamon.

Texture: When I bit down into my first piece, I was concerned. Although it’s a pellet, there’s no discernible candy shell crunch, and the first few chews are really way too hard. Thankfully, within 5 – 10 chews it softens up nicely. The chew has a slight stickiness, but nothing too horrible. It does have a little squeak, as well.

Presentation: Minimalist, standard pellet pop-out pack. Stark white with the perfect shade of cinnamon-red. The logo is reminiscent of vitaminwater, with the space between the words removed. I’ve said before that I like when cinnamon gum packaging features actual cinnamon sticks, and we’ve got that here.

Overall: vitamingum has hopped on the Gum Friends-with-Benefits bandwagon, but instead of claims to “vigorate,” “vitalize,” “release energy,” or any other other vibrant marketing terms other brands have conjured up, vitamingum just claims to have vitamins. In and of itself, that’s pretty cool. I know that I am pretty terrible at remembering to take my multivitamin each day, and this makes me feel a little better about that. It should be noted, though, that each two-piece serving of vitamingum only contains 10% of the recommended daily value of 12 vitamins, so you’d have to chew 20 pieces of this (almost 2 whole packs) to get your 100% of vitamins for the day.

Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

So Much Gum, So Little Time!

Oh. Em. Gee. You guys. Check out our queue. It’s like we hit the Gum Lottery or something. Our friends at vitamingum and mentos recently sent us over some samples, and we finally have been able to get our hands on the new Stride Spark flavors (Kinetic Mint and Kinetic Fruit), the other two Trident Vitality flavors (Rejuve and Vigorate) and Orbit Strawberry Remix (which I am chewing right now… [Sneak Preview: Fantastic Flavor]). All this, and we still have not yet been able to get our hands on the new 5 Vortex that everyone is talking about! Rest assured, we will find it, and review it along with all these other exciting gumz… AND all the oldies-but-goodies that you awesome fans are filling up our inbox requesting.
We know we don’t say it enough, but we love you guys! Thank you so much for reading GumAlert!