Friday, September 7, 2007

Stride - psychological masterstroke or really bad gum?

So I just got done reading Mindless Eating, by Brian Wansink. I am therefore not unconvinced that a certain gum is not in fact attempting to hoodwink the gum chewing world into believing that the gum possesses unnaturally long lasting flavor simply by saying it over and over. It would not, according to Wansink, have been the first time that positive expectation leads to a wholly illusionary reaction to the product in question.

Stride is not, in fact, long lasting, unless the benchmark for flavor-lastingness is your average stick of Juicy Fruit. (I got the Fruit version, since I get my mint hookup from a much better gum to be linked later.) Also, it is not chewy. You know what I mean - it's a bit too close to the rubber side of the equation to be considered a pleasurable chewing experience. I actually got a slightly achy jaw after munching away. My current theory is that they attempted to subject the flavor bits to some sort of polymerization process, and that process A) made the gum the rough equivalent of an inner tube and B) didn't work. Because seriously, about the flavor? It degenerates in mere minutes. Perhaps it's easier to make a minty gum be minty longer, but whatever efforts they've made with the fruit version are a big fat nothing.

Compare with the mysteriously named 5, which not only has better ads but also lasts for freaking ever. My (unverified) suspicion is that it takes five hours to wear this gum out, ergo, "5." The lesson here is, I reckon, don't f*ck with Wrigley when it comes to gum. Stick with the peppermint, though - in my opinion the spearmint is a little grassy and cinnamon gum is an abomination. And if anyone has a lead on a sugarfree fruit gum that doesn't suck please let me know. So far Trident tropical splash is the closest.

Remember Blackjack? Good times. Turns out Cadbury-Adams is now too busy making Stride. What dopes.

I mention all of this because one of my "Mindless Margin" checklist items is to chew three pieces of gum a day and another at night. Why? Because if you're chewing a piece of gum you can't chew other things, and I have a little obsessive tic that tends toward chewing whatever is at hand. So I have returned to the land of my youth, the pack of gum (they're very cool now - perhaps to help smokers feel like they're opening a pack of cigs rather than minty freshness). Top five gums of the moment:

5 "Cobalt"
Orbit Mint Mojito
Trident Tropical Splash
Orbit Crystal Mint
Orbit White Spearmint

Chew on!

No comments: