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Gum Review: Wrigley’s Gums (New and Improved?) Mini Roundup

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Gum,Mint Candy,New Candy,Weird Candy

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Wrigley Logo + Mars Logo

New Improved Flavor! Companies everywhere seem to think that changing their products will increase sales. From the “new” Coke to putting purple horseshoes in Lucky Charms, big businesses love to change. And doesn’t it seem that the best tasting treats get changed the fastest?

In the late spring of 2008, the 117 year old Wrigley company – best known for its gum – was purchased for $23 billion by Mars, Incorporated. Mars is well known for making candy (such as M&Ms, Snickers, and Starburst) but also markets rice, coffee, and pet food.

Since acquiring Wrigley, Mars has made quite a few changes. Doing away with the traditional five-sticks-per-pack narrow rectangular package, they now offer Wrigley’s gum in a Slim Packâ„¢ – a larger rectangle that now contains 15 sticks. Anyone could live with the new package, but the new “improved” flavor? Well, let’s just say I wish I’d stocked up on gum prior to the Mars acquisition.

Here’s my take on the Mars-ified versions of Wrigley’s Big Four: Spearmint, Doublemint, Big Red, and Juicy Fruit.


Spearmint

Wrigley’s Spearmint GumI wrote a lengthier review of Spearmint a few weeks ago. Here are the highlights of the new flavor:

Color: Lime green.
Old Color: Off white.

Flavor: The new Spearmint is much hotter than the old and seems to contain peppermint oil now. While the flavor is much longer-lasting now, its intensity is not what you would usually expect from a spearmint-flavored gum.

Bottom Line: People who enjoy a mild, smooth spearmint will not enjoy this new version.


Doublemint

Wrigley’s Doublemint GumColor: White with green specks.
Old Color: white.

Flavor: This new Doublemint is very strange. I suppose the base flavor is rather similar to the old flavor (albeit a bit more intense), but it now contains green specks that actually crunch when you chew. I have never in my life chewed crunchy gum, and the experience is unpleasant to say the least. Crunchy candy is delicious (Butterfinger Crisp, anyone?), but crunchy gum is… weird.

Bottom line: Weird. Crunchy. Green. Specks.


Big Red

Wrigley’s Big Red GumColor: Red.
Old Color: Red.

Flavor: Hot, hot, hot! Do you like Atomic Fireballs? You will LOVE the new Big Red. As I’ve mentioned, I don’t like hot peppermint, but hot cinnamon is a different story. If you could chew an Atomic Fireball, it would taste just like Big Red. (Actually, maybe you can chew them. I haven’t tried the Chewy Atomic Fireballs.)

Yes, Big Red was always cinnamon-y hot. Now it’s hotter and lasts much longer. I chewed a stick for 20 minutes with absolutely no loss of flavor. I had to spit it out because my tongue couldn’t take anymore! The hot, seared-over sensation lasted for close to a half hour after I stopped chewing. Whew!

Bottom line: If you like the heat of cinnamon oil, chew Big Red!


Juicy Fruit

Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Gum
Color: Bright golden yellow.
Old Color: Off white/tan.

Flavor: Juicy Fruit has always been one of my favorite gums. That sweet flavor just isn’t matched by any other treat. I’m happy to say that Mars has not changed (aka ruined) Juicy Fruit’s flavor. It’s as deliciously sweet as it ever was.

However, good gum depends on texture too. What is the difference between bubble gum and chewing gum? Texture. Chewing gum is usually rather thin and chewy while bubble gum is thick, rubbery and somewhat more difficult to chew. Think back to your kiddie days of chewing Hubba Bubba. Remember gnawing away at it? If you tried to do that now, your jaw would crack!

Be prepared for a strange cross between bubble and chewing gum in the new Juicy Fruit. The rubber content has been decidedly increased, thereby increasing the gnawing factor. This, of course, makes bubble blowing easier. I, for one, do enjoy blowing bubbles even with chewing gum, so I wasn’t exactly bothered by Juicy Fruit’s new texture.

Bottom line: Still delicious.


The Verdict

Wrigley’s line of gum has tasted basically the same for 117 years. They’ve always had excellent sales and were the #1 gum company in the world. A 117 year track record tends to suggest that the products are well-liked by the consumer.

Though I don’t exactly mind the new texture of Juicy Fruit and am not exactly bothered by the heat increase of Big Red, I can’t say that I think either change is very beneficial for the brand. In fact, I will probably not buy Big Red again. I can take that heat in small doses, but….

While I may continue to buy Juicy Fruit, I will never again purchase either Spearmint or Doublemint. The changes made to both of those (especially Doublemint!) sent them down the tubes big time. They took two very tasty gums (fabulous breath fresheners!) and turned them into something unpleasant and unpalatable.

My overall consensus? Bad move, Mars.

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26 Responses to “Gum Review: Wrigley’s Gums (New and Improved?) Mini Roundup”

  1. 1
    ButterflyKyss says:

    It’s so sad :(

    I haven’t had ANY Wrigley gum in a long time. So long that now, I really can’t remember what the spearmint or doublemint tasted like. And now, to find out that I won’t get a chance to remember those great chewing gums ever again?

    Maybe we’ll get lucky and this is one of those marketing ploys designed to cause the exact same feeling I’m having now. If next week they come out with ‘Doublemint Classic’, I’m running out to buy a case of it. But if they never changed it at all, I might not have bought any for ten years for all I know. So I guess only time will tell if this is a true tragedy, or a scheme straight from the coca-cola playbook :P

  2. 2
    amypaige says:

    i bought a slimpack of juicy fruit the other day. i was initially surprised at the bright yellow color. i remembered juicy fruit as having basically no color. why does it need to be yellow? anyway, it tasted as i remembered, considering it has probably been close to 10 years since i’ve had juicy fruit. i typically go for sugarless gum, but this just appealed. i’m glad it was the same as always. i will get the big red for sure! chewing an atomic fireball sounds sooooo good.

  3. 3
    laurie says:

    How sad to hear – I too haven’t had any of those gums (except Juicy Fruit) for awhile, though I remember them all being tasty as they were. At least they didn’t mess too much with my Juicy Fruit!

  4. 4
    Terrac says:

    Like i mentioned before, try 5 gum. It’s my favorite. Btw, would it be possible for you to review 5 gum soon? I want to see what you think of it.-Terrac

    BRIAN: We have reviewed 5 gum.

  5. 5
    Robby says:

    I wonder if those green specks are anything like the wintergreen lifesavers that glow in the dark when you chew them.

  6. 6
    Terrac says:

    interesting thought robby, but i think that they’re those cruncy flavor crystal things. I think what you’re thinking of is different. Why do those things glow in dark anyway?

  7. 7
    Cindy says:

    @ Butterflykyss – Oh, I hope you’re right! It hadn’t occurred to me that this could be a marketing ploy to stir up interest in the “classic” Wrigley’s gum. We can hope, right?

    @ amypaige – Let me know how you like the Big Red! :)

    @ Terrac – I do need to try 5 gum but haven’t remembered to look for it. I did buy a pack of Orbit, the “sweet mint” flavor, and I like it a lot. It’s not spearmint like Wrigley’s Spearmint was (though Orbit does make a spearmint flavor…I bought a pack but haven’t chewed it yet). I’ll ask the higher-ups about reviewing 5 gum. :)

    @ Robby – Wintergreen Lifesavers have glow in the dark specks? I’m scared. Isn’t that bad for your health?

  8. 8
    T.D.Williams says:

    So..why isn’t there a winterfresh review? And honestly I’ve never like Juicy fruit you can chew through a pack in 5 mins since the flavor doesnt last long. I’ve bought the doublemint and winterfresh packs and I liked winterfresh..i’ll probably stick to the regular 5-stick packs of Doublemint (they still have the “classic” available in my area). I’ll have to try Big Red..I love that cinnamon flavor.

  9. 9
    Cadence says:

    Chewy gum? Ewwwwww. But my mom’s addicted to Atomic Fireballs so I’ll have to tell her about the new, improved Big Red!

  10. 10
    Cadence says:

    Ok, I meant CRUNCHY chewy gum … not just chewy gum. Cuz isn’t that the point of having gum? Chewing? Duh.

  11. 11
    Terrac says:

    Thanks for telling me Brian. I didn’t know because trhe review was kinda old. Sorry.

  12. 12
    Big Red addict says:

    Did you notice that the old “plenty packs” had 17 sticks of gum — and the “new and improved” slim packs only have 15? Same price though. Less is more I guess.

  13. 13
    Cindy says:

    @ T.D. – Good question about the missing Winterfresh. I didn’t review it because I’ve actually never chewed any…so I wouldn’t be able to make any comparison to the classic version. Have you tried it lately? Is it any different?

    @ Big Red Addict – Yes, I did notice the shrinking quantity of sticks per pack. One more reason that I’m feeling disenchanted with Wrigley. :(

  14. 14
    andi says:

    I was a Big Red addict…until the new improved flavor…which contains Phenylalanine…Aspertame! I HATE the taste and refuse to buy it. Since EVERY other pack of gum sold right now is sugar free- i.e. fake sugar….guess I won’t chew gum anymore. If I find the old version in any stores I am stocking up!

  15. 15
    TMJ says:

    The JuicyFruit gum flavor has changed! The consistency is undoubtedly harder to chew (but easier to blow bubbles). The flavor has almost a hint of licorice behind it. It smells funny too. YUCK! The only one that still tastes good, or better, is Big Red.

  16. 16
    amypaige says:

    ok. i finally bought a pack of the new big red!!!! i love it. you’re totally right….the stick of gum never lost flavor. it was spicy until the end. and i simply got tired of chewing it. it doesn’t have the same scary spicy quality that atomic fireballs have. still very spicy, but not over the line, imo. if you ever needed a piece of non-caffeinated gum to keep you awake, this would be it. it’s really good. i don’t get any funny chemical aftertaste or anything. tastes just like any other chewing gum, in that respect. i’m glad i tried this one. it’s a winner.

  17. 17
    leena says:

    I love the new doublemint gum with the little specks of flavor

  18. 18
    CuppyCake says:

    Yum. Just got the Big Red for xmas. Chewing a piece right now! yummy, but oh so hot!

  19. 19
    ERiKA says:

    I opened a pack of doublemint gum, and saw the green specks and thought it was mold!! I thought I had picked up some old gum. So, of course I had to google it. And I came across this site.

    I’m actually chewing Fuicy Fruit right now & the consistancy of the gum has changed. I didn’t even realize it until I read it on here.

  20. 20
    Bill says:

    I used Wrigley’s spearmint to quit smoking 2 years ago, it was quite a shock to see the new and improved spearmint gum, the taste is not nearly as good and one point I have noticed is that the new stuff sticks to dental work a lot more than the old stuff, I have purchased all the old kind I could find, but now whatever you run across is getting to me kinda stale due to age, so one of my little pleasures in life has been taken away :-(

    There is an old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” I think they could have taken a lesson from Coke back when they tried to “improve” the flavor, it was not long before they went back to the “classic”

    I have changed brands, and I think many others will too change brands. I have yet to meet someone who actually likes these new flavors, surely they will see a drop in sales, only bad thing is they will probably attribute it to the bad economy and not they bad recipe….

    I still hold out hope that one day I will see a “classic” Spearmint again.

    Wake up Mars!

  21. 21
    liliana says:

    i did some reasearch and winterfresh is the gum that last longer.!!

  22. 22
    Candy Addict » Gum Review: Search for Spearmint Mini-Roundup Part 1 says:

    [...] had careened downhill and crashed into a muddy, mucky river. I wrote a review of it and a review of Wrigley’s other “improved” flavors. Since then I’ve been on a search to find a spearmint gum that matches my expectations of a [...]

  23. 23
    Karilyn says:

    Coming from someone who grew up on the Winterfresh gum, a mild minty flavored gum that lasted a decent amount of time, Mars has completely botched the “improved” flavor. It actually tastes like they added menthol to the recipe, which completely overpowers any other flavor that used to be in the gum. It would be a more appropriate product for Vick’s Vapo-Rub than Wrigley.

  24. 24
    Janette says:

    I want the old Wrigley’s gum back. I don’t like the new chemicals in the new gum. Anybody know where I can “STOCK UP” on some?

  25. 25
    Ellis says:

    I try to see if I can chew wrigley gums about once every couple of years. I end up throwing away the rest. What I considered to be a classic is ruined. It was important to me even though it was “just gum”. They lost a customer. They changed what would be considered a “social icon”.

  26. 26
    Sloaf says:

    actually, the flavor of Juicy Fruit has changed, and not in a good way (in my opinion). It now has a slight hint of anise or black licorice which makes the overall effect just nasty. Oh well.

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