Your favorite childhood chewing gum says a lot about you, but in adulthood, cartoony packaging and huge bubbles are less of a priority than taste, texture, its ability to keep breath from smelling like pizza, and most importantly, how long the flavor lasts.
To find out which brand lasts longest, we assembled a panel of three experienced gum chewers, each tasked with comparing the mouth-life of 14 different varieties of gum. The times listed are the overall averages, but it's important to note that there was almost no variation between chewers.
Since there's no codified scientific method for judging gum flavor, we decided a stick of gum was finished when all the flavor was transferred from the gum into the mouth, which typically coincided with hardening texture, apathy towards chewing, and eyes wandering towards the underside of nearby desks. Obviously most people chew gum for longer, but our tasters concluded that this is a consequence of residual flavor coating the mouth long after the gum itself becomes a lifeless waste of mouth space.
Next time you're in the candy aisle, chews wisely.
14. Chiclets - 1:20 minutes
It's generous to call Chiclets gum because they're mostly just candy shell. Once that sugary exterior was fully smashed, there was little flavor left to chew.
13. Bubble Tape - 1:33 minutes
Although Bubble Tape has enough chalk on it to be an acceptable pool table accessory or the official gum of pommel horse gymnasts, it simply couldn't compete with the other gums when eaten in equal quantities. The caveat is that most kids are probably eating more than just the typical 3in serving.
12. Juicy Fruit - 2:05 minutes
No one would argue that this isn't juicy, but which fruit it tries to emulate is up for debate. Mango? Grapefruit? Orange-colored Starburst? Regardless of variety, the fruit flavor isn't ripe for long.
11. Trident Layers Swedish Fish - 2:10 minutes
This pink-and-yellow gum sandwich tasted remarkably like Swedish Fish, and even more remarkably, not at all terrible. But the bright punch of sugary flavor could barely tread water for two minutes.
10. Extra - 2:22 minutes
A truly disappointing result for a gum with the tagline “long-lasting flavor."
9. Big Red - 2:30 minutes
Apologies to Sweden and their national fish, but Big Red was the most unique gum on this list. The tingly cinnamon tail is a flavor punch, even though it went out in the early rounds.
8. Trident Mint Bliss - 2:32 minutes
Trident comes in a buffet of flavors, and while testing a traditional spearmint was an option, it seemed stupid to turn down a chance at bliss, even if it was an ambiguous mint version of it. In reality, this doesn't taste as much like mint as it does generic white cake icing. Reactions were far from blissful and mixed at best.
7. Stride - 2:52 minutes
With a name like Stride, you'd think the flavor would stretch a little longer.
6. Bubble Yum - 3:10 minutes
The first thing to know about Bubble Yum is that it is massive. It's the biggest gum on the list, by far. The second thing to know is that talking while chewing is next to impossible because saliva glands react to it like a sprinkler system to a five-alarm fire. Last point, its flavor lasts way longer than it reasonably should, which is laudable.
5. Orbit - 3:20 minutes
Solid no-nonsense gum right here. Upstanding balance of sugar, mint, and longevity. If this gum were a person, you could count on him to pick you up from the airport, but sadly, his car would run out of gas before you got home.
4. Doublemint - 3:33 minutes
Doublemint is no slouch in the flavor department, but more importantly, it has the greatest commercials in the entire chewing gum canon. Luckily a single stick offers 213 seconds to fondly remember montages of twins hanging out on park benches, trying on hats, and pointing at zoo animals.
3. Dentyne Ice - 5:35 minutes
Dentyne Ice is the first member of the five-minute club, but while the other two finalist have steady-wins-the-race flavors, this gum is a full sprint from the moment it hits the tongue.
2. 5 Gum React2 Mint - 6:05 minutes
The mint flavor tasted the most mature of anything on this list, and it lasted twice as long as most other gums. Its success, though, still doesn't diminish the fact that this package is mostly found in the pockets of bros who reek of thunder-scented body spray.
1. Eclipse, car cup edition - 6:33 minutes
The car cup is one of the most important innovations in gum technology in recent memory. But innovation aside, this is one spectacular gum. It has an explosive first bite from the hard shell, but then evens out into one of the smoothest gums on this list with a tail that just won't quit. True to its name, this gum completely eclipsed the competition.
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