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Candy History: Orbit Gum, Then and Now

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Gum,Mint Candy,Sugar-free Candy

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Orbit Gum Tattoo Package

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I’ve always enjoyed studying history, especially U.S. history. When I learn something new I’m amazed at how ignorant and totally clueless I can be, even when it comes to something as simple as gum.

For years I thought Orbit gum was a relatively new product from Wrigley. Wrong!

Orbit has been around since World War II when Wrigley began shipping all of their gum production overseas to the Armed Forces. With no JuicyFruit, Spearmint or Doublemint available for civilians in the U.S., Wrigley introduced Orbit.

After the war, in 1946, Wrigley brought the big three back to the States and phased out Orbit. It wasn’t until 1976 that Orbit returned – only to Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands – as the first sugar-free gum ever released under the Wrigley name.

In 2001, Orbit returned to the U.S. with the introduction of Spearmint and Wintermint flavors. 2007 brought the Mint Mojito, and today Orbit Mist features “MicroBursts that deliver a hydrating sensation.”

I recently tried the Mint Mojito and the Mist Mango Surf. (Although we reviewed the latter just recently, I thought it might be worth another taste.)

Orbit Mint Mojito
Orbit Mint Mojito: The stick smelled of spearmint and bathroom cleanser. At first chew there was a strong yet unidentifiable citrus high note. After 30 seconds of thoughtful chewing, a subtle lime flavor whispered within a faint and pleasant spearmint. After about five minutes, it was something not quite lime and not quite spearmint. The confusion was rather amusing, but like a doomed relationship, the intriguing beginning couldn’t survive the long haul. Still, not a bad chewing experience.

Funny thing, later that evening I enjoyed a real Mojito at a rooftop beach bar. (Hey, I was on vacation. See, even during my down time I’m out there working for all you Candy Addicts. My pleasure.)

Orbit Mango Surf
Orbit Mango Surf: The stick smelled of cough syrup and cinnamon-apple potpourri. (I’m not making this up.) On first chew it was crunchy – yes, crunchy! A very strong and authentic mango high note that dissipated as the “MicroBurst” crystals softened. Where the Mint Mojito was soft, the Mango Surf was tough, more akin to a bubble gum texture. The mango flavor subsided considerably after two minutes but was still present and provided a mildly enjoyable chew.

Ingredients in both gums were identical, but the Mist contained erythritol (a natural sugar alcohol found in fruits and fermented foods), sucralose (super-sweet artificial sweetener marketed as Splenda) and gelatin.

After a little bit of digging, I now see Orbit in a whole new light. That’s the beauty of history.

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