Sunday, January 30, 2011

vitamingum Spearmint

This review is sponsored by our friends at vitamingum!

Flavor: The flavor here is very subtle from the get-go. It's a not-too-powerful version of the classic spearmint flavor, and it pretty much tastes exactly how you'd expect it to taste. Although I personally wish the flavor were stronger, I'm sure many people are tired of the new trend in gum that tries to slam you with flavor on the first bite and literally takes your breath away.

Texture: As Shannon mentioned in her review of vitamingum Cinnamon, in order to get at least 30 percent of all your daily vitamins, you'd have to chew six pieces of vitamingum. Now this sounds like a lot, but these pieces are so small that I can't imagine myself chewing just one at a time again. I'm not a two-piece chewer usually, but the gum disintegrates quickly and there's not much substance there. The texture, though, is a fine balance of firm and soft and lasts for at least ten minutes (...which is a good thing, because the directions on the package instruct you to chew for that long, at least. More on that in a bit.)

Presentation: Shannon described the packaging of the vitamingum line quite succinctly in her review. I have to say that my favorite thing about the packaging is that this gum comes with directions, in case you're totally befuddled by this product: "Directions: Chew gum 5-10 minutes to ensure release of nutrients." I'm a fan of really obvious directions, the likes of Pop Tarts, "Open pouch, insert in toaster, enjoy." But I suppose the vitamingum instructions aren't entirely unnecessary, as someone who is using this gum as solely a vitamin supplement might assume that a few quick bites would do the trick. I think they're really creatively written, too-- "to ensure release of nutrients" sounds very serious and scientific, as opposed to something like "to make your blood way more healthy-like."

Overall: Folks in Texas probably would not be a fan of this gum. There's nothing big here-- little flavor, little pieces, a little bit of vitamins. But not everyone is in the market for these new-fangled, over-the-top gums in shiny florescent packs. Some people are looking for a little piece of gum to freshen the breath and add a little bit of health to their day. For them, this gum is a breath of fresh air in a market dominated by gimmicks and liquid-centered-flavor-bombs.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

vitamingum Cinnamon

This review is sponsored by our friends at vitamingum!

Flavor: Cinnamon seems to be a hard flavor to get right in the gum world, and a really good cinnamon gum is hard to find. I always tend to judge cinnamon gums against my all-time favorite cinnamon treat, the Atomic Fireball. To me, the Atomic Fireball was always so perfect - it had a brief period of mouth-tingling hotness, and just when you think it's getting to be too hot to handle, the sweet layer kicks in and lulls the fire into a perfect warmth. This gum is pretty similar to that - starts off awesomely strong, and settles down nicely. vitamingum really did a nice job with the cinnamon.

Texture: When I bit down into my first piece, I was concerned. Although it's a pellet, there's no discernible candy shell crunch, and the first few chews are really way too hard. Thankfully, within 5 - 10 chews it softens up nicely. The chew has a slight stickiness, but nothing too horrible. It does have a little squeak, as well.

Presentation: Minimalist, standard pellet pop-out pack. Stark white with the perfect shade of cinnamon-red. The logo is reminiscent of vitaminwater, with the space between the words removed. I've said before that I like when cinnamon gum packaging features actual cinnamon sticks, and we've got that here.

Overall: vitamingum has hopped on the Gum Friends-with-Benefits bandwagon, but instead of claims to "vigorate," "vitalize," "release energy," or any other other vibrant marketing terms other brands have conjured up, vitamingum just claims to have vitamins. In and of itself, that's pretty cool. I know that I am pretty terrible at remembering to take my multivitamin each day, and this makes me feel a little better about that. It should be noted, though, that each two-piece serving of vitamingum only contains 10% of the recommended daily value of 12 vitamins, so you'd have to chew 20 pieces of this (almost 2 whole packs) to get your 100% of vitamins for the day.

Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

So Much Gum, So Little Time!

Oh. Em. Gee. You guys. Check out our queue. It's like we hit the Gum Lottery or something. Our friends at vitamingum and mentos recently sent us over some samples, and we finally have been able to get our hands on the new Stride Spark flavors (Kinetic Mint and Kinetic Fruit), the other two Trident Vitality flavors (Rejuve and Vigorate) and Orbit Strawberry Remix (which I am chewing right now... [Sneak Preview: Fantastic Flavor]). All this, and we still have not yet been able to get our hands on the new 5 Vortex that everyone is talking about! Rest assured, we will find it, and review it along with all these other exciting gumz... AND all the oldies-but-goodies that you awesome fans are filling up our inbox requesting.

We know we don't say it enough, but we love you guys! Thank you so much for reading GumAlert!

Friday, January 21, 2011

mentos Pure Fresh Wintergreen

This review was sponsored by our friends at mentos!

Flavor: Oh man, wow. The initial burst of flavor in this one is a nasal-clearing rush of minty awesomeness. I just ate the garlickiest lunch imaginable, popped 2 pieces of this and the funk has been completely obliterated. I'd feel comfortable having a closed-door meeting seated next to the company president right now. After the blast of freshness, it settles down into a nice, sweet classic wintergreen that lasts as long as I've chewed (at least 20 minutes).

Texture: The outer shell of this gum is thicker than most pellet gums, so the initial crunch is delightful and lasts an extraordinarily long time. It's fantastic. Once the shelly bits have disintegrated, the chew that's left is just fine. Nothing great or anything, it's not smooth or shiny in the mouth like I prefer, but it's certainly not too soft or too hard, it's not gonna fall apart in your mouth, get stuck in your teeth, or cause jaw fatigue.

Presentation: I like what Mentos does with their packaging. The plastic tube, while certainly not the most healthy thing for the environment, contains the gum so that it doesn't spill out into your purse, and it avoids the standard pop-out foil packs that pellets are usually packaged in. Not that there's anything really wrong with the pellet packs, but they kinda seem to be a way to cheat us out of gum. A standard pellet pack contains 9 or 12 pieces, but this tube of Mentos contains 15 pieces - as many pieces as standard pack of stick gum. Maybe it's a small thing, but for those of us that spend a calculatable percentage of our income on gum, small things add up. I guess if you're super eco-green-sustainable-recycler, you could re-use the tubes for other things. Also, the label on this particular flavor has a reflective, shiny holographic quality to it that really makes it stand out.

Overall: I was pleasantly surprized when our friend over at Perfetti Van Melle contacted us and offered to send us some complimentary Mentos gums, because neither of our other mentos reviews really favored the brand. I was again pleasantly surprized to find out how delightful this gum really is. Maybe they've reformulated since I've last chewed it, I don't know, but this really is a fantastic gum.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Orbit Piña Colada

Flavor: I have to admit, of all the alcoholic-flavored chewing gums out there, this one seems to be the most successful. The minty afterglow is a surprisingly nice substitute for the iciness of an actual piña colada, and both the pineapple and coconut flavors are present and well balanced. It’s almost sickeningly sweet, but so are piña coladas, so I have to let that one slide.

Texture: True to form, this Orbit gum is a good chew, through and through-- not too soft, not to firm, long-lasting. 

Presentation: The hip, minimalist “fashion pack” strikes again. I’m not so sure it helps to market this particular flavor, however. This is a fun gum, an indulgent vacation where calories don’t count and you can just throw your cell phone into the ocean and relax. Why not go totally fun and cartoony in the packaging? How about a pineapple in a hula skirt and coconut-shell bra, holding a coconut-shell umbrella, ironically caught in the rain. Get it? Because the lyrics of the song... nevermind. 

Overall: So if you like piña coladas or getting caught in the rain, you’re in for a treat here folks (again with the song lyrics). During my research on this gum, I came across this review on The Impulsive Buy, and I must say, I too await the day that Orbit IPA or Orbit Golden Lager hits the shelves.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Trident Vitality Awaken

Taste: The box says "A peppy peppermint with a dash of ginseng," and it's a peppy peppermint, indeed. You get the initial blast of freshness you do with most pellet gums, especially those with a liquid center, and when the candy shell dissolves you're left with a soft mint that's easy on the taste buds and sinuses.

Texture: Sub-par. It starts off nice, with a tiny burst of goo in the middle, and then just goes downhill. It gets way too soft, way too fast. I suppose some might like this kind of softness, but it's really stringy and sticky. There'll be no cracking, snapping or popping with this gum.

Presentation: I don't know what's going on here. It's your average pellet pack, placed inside a fancy-looking box. Why? It seems like overkill. It's also kind of annoying. Traditionally, pellet packs are in cardboard sleeves, so you can push the pack out from one end so that it pops out the other. With this box, it's only open on one end, so there's nowhere to push the pellet pack out from. You have to either shake it, or get a little fingernail's grip on the pack to pull it out. The whole thing seems really unnecessary, and kinda pretentious to me. The graphics themselves are nice, a metallic silver with a simple dew-speckled peppermint leaf, but I think it would have been just as effective on your standard pellet pack sleeve. (ETA: I found an article that said one of the purposes of the box was so that the pellet pack wouldn't fall out. Has anyone ever had an issue with pellet packs falling out of their sleeves? I haven't... and we all know how much gum I chew.)

Overall: Move over Extra Dessert Delights, Trident Vitality has caught the attention of the Gum World. Everyone's talking about it. However, in the opinion of this Gum Girl, the "Latest and Greatest" falls short. In the interest of science, I popped a piece of "Awaken" on this fine Monday morning as I got into the car to drive to work, before drinking my coffee. I arrived at my job still as tired and dragging as I would any other Monday morning. It's a Gum Gimmick, pure and simple. Much like Stride Shift, and 5 React, there's really nothing special about Trident Vitality. They just like to make you think there is.

Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pop Rocks Bubble Gum

Flavor: The back of this package proclaims "Entertainment for your whole mouth!" Not only do I agree with this statement, but I propose that the entertainment provided by Pop Rocks Bubble Gum extends to many other senses, including smell, touch, and hearing. I mean come on, it's Pop Rocks, like, THE most awesome and fun candy I've ever had in my life. Although it is marketed as bubblegum flavor, the package comprises two parts: one part bubblegum, one part Pop Rocks. The Pop Rocks themselves are most definitely strawberry flavor (delicious), and the gum bits are Double Bubble-eque. I might argue that the package should market its dual flavor, but the surprise was so pleasant that I think it might be best keep a secret that you discover, much like the tingling sensation you discovered the day you poured some Pop Rocks into your mouth the first time.

Texture: I was skeptical about how they were going to pull this one off. Gum-wrapped Pop Rock bits? A new formula? A momma Pop Rock and a Daddy Gumball gave birth to a perfect Pop Rock Bubble Gum baby? Alas, the mixing of the Pop Rocks with small gum bits was ingenious. The Pop Rocks dissolve at the usual rate, and you're left with a really decent piece of gum that maintains texture and flavor for about ten minutes or so. I questioned the serving size (one package), as being maybe a little more than a person could handle, but once all the Pop Rocks dissolved the gum was a really satisfactory size.

Presentation: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The classic Pop Rocks pouch sold me this one. And the space on the package announcing "TURNS INTO GUM" in a fun all-caps font just nailed the sale for me.

Overall: OMG it's, like, Pop Rocks Bubble Gum! What are you waiting for? Get out there and BUY a pack!

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Stride 2.0 Spearmint

Taste: Feelin' the love. The first chew is a nice blast of spearmint, and immediately smooths out to a sweet minty joy. It's not too strong at all, and Stride's claims of superior flavor longevity are really justified here. I've chewed this gum for longer than I could keep track of, and the flavor never waned. It really is "ridiculously long lasting."

Texture: I honestly cannot imagine a better textured gum. I can see it being slightly too soft for some, and I had one messy incident where it was stuck all over my lips, but that was becuase I was being an idiot and smearing it all over my lips while I was stuck in traffic and horribly bored. But, for me, this gum is smooth and malleable. There is an ever-so-slight squeak, so you might not want to enjoy this gum at a board meeting or funeral.

Presentation: Stride updated its background graphics for the 2.0 experience. Though it's nothing worthy of great praise, it's a pretty , wavy, eye-catching "ripply" pattern.

Overall: Spearmint is the only incarnation of the 2.0 generation that I could find, but I'm looking forward to trying other flavors. (I'm also interested to see if the new formulation eliminated whatever it was that was causing Katie to get sores on her tongue.) On the inside of the pack is printed, "Stride 2.0. We've upgraded Stride. Yeah, you're welcome." Thank you, Stride. This is a winner, indeed.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

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