Thursday, April 11, 2013

What Flavour of Gum Would You Like To Try?

Of all of the varieties of candy that I review on, gum is the one that's excites me the least.  I tend to not really do that many gum reviews, and there's a reason.  I find that the gum industry is stuck in a wheel, and they just keep coming back with the same ideas over and over again.  There are advancements in gum technology, and they're great, but very often I'm stuck with the same flavour over and over again.  No matter what your advertising campaign, and no matter what your package looks like, it's very hard to convince me that your gum is that much different than the rest and it's all because of one thing, flavour.
The biggest advancements we've seen in gum over the years has focused on very specific areas, mainly sugar substitution, texture, and naturalness.  I can't argue that gums like Glee Gum, and Rev 7 have created some amazing advancements in the gum world.  They've not only improved the way gum feels in our mouths, but they've improved what it does to our bodies and what gum does to our environment.  I just feel that there are more directions you can take to improve gum, and that many companies are avoiding the obvious.

To me the obvious choice in gum advancement is flavour.  Some companies are adjusting their flavour to use natural ingredients, but for the most part the flavour choices are all the same, dozens of varieties of mint, cinnamon,  berries, and citrus fruits.  Even plain bubble gum is just a variation on mint.  The chocolate bar industry has started to really mix it up, ingredients like bacon, salt, and hot peppers aren't that strange at all.  Fancy chocolates have gone even further, but gum just seems to use the same flavours over and over again.  Every time I see a new kind of gum out on the market, it's a new gum with the same flavours.  And even worse, the new trend is towards mixing these old and tired flavours, rather than coming up with something totally new.
After all of this complaining, I'm sure you're wondering, what flavour of gum do you want?  I'll be honest, I'm not sure what flavour of gum I'd prefer over the regularly used flavours. The thing is, I'd like to try quite a few.  I think Umami flavours might work very well in a gum mode.  Yes I would eat a piece of meat flavoured gum, but I'd also be interested in mushroom and other earthy flavours.  I think some other green vegetable flavours would be nice as well, people have been chewing leaves and grass for ages so why not incorporate that into gum.

Part of the problem I have in suggesting new and creative flavours of gum is that I've never been given the chance to really experiment.  No gum making company has ever challenged me with flavours like Jelly Belly, or even some of the fine Belgian chocolatiers.  These flavours exist in the lexicon of artificial and natural flavours, why aren't you using them to make a gum that changes the way we think about chewing.


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