Photo Credit: Thrillist
Which brand wins, or shall I say, “excels”?
Tannaaz Zaraineh, Features Editor
Did you know February 3rd is Bubble Gum Day? It might be the first time you’re learning this, and I won’t shame you because I relate. Like most people, I chew gum occasionally.
In honour of Bubble Gum Day, I set out on a mission to try and rate a variety of gum brands. If you’ve been looking for recommendations, keep reading — I decided to make your life easier.
Excel Spearmint is my go-to gum. It’s a failsafe and gives me minty breath with respectable longevity and a consistent flavour. It’s not too strong either. But, I was curious to see if it could be beaten.
Excel Bubblemint is decent, but I would never actively think about buying it. It had a hint of bubble gum, but the mint was overpowering. It cooled my throat with intensity and was refreshing, but reminded me of taking a minty throat lozenge. Not great.
Of the three Excels I tried, Excel Winterfresh was the worst! I literally spit it out after five seconds. It was somewhat bitter in a way, harsh to my taste buds, and didn’t taste like the common mint.
Dentyne Spearmint tries to be the next Excel, but I’d argue the quality is a little lower and the taste is slightly off. The mint’s toned down and doesn’t leave me feeling as icy and fresh as any of the Excels.
Next, the wannabe. Trident is too confident with that name. I think all of the quality went into the packaging. It has two extra pieces and is pricier than Excel, but I wasn’t getting the bang for my buck. It’s softer to chew, meaning it gets mushy quickly and I get sick of the texture. Flavour-wise, it’s a hit or miss, which is expected from all brands.
The Watermelon Twist was welcome compared to all the mint, but it tasted watered down after about ten minutes and started to gross me out.
The Freshmint was tastier than the Winterfresh, but my mom thought it smelled like Vicks VapoRub. An understandable comparison, but not the first thing I’d think about.
Hubba Bubba was my childhood, and I could never get enough of the tape. I was so excited when I found the sour blue raspberry flavour, The Cool Kid. The tape lets you cut off as much as you want, which can make chewing gum fun. This flavour got sourer as you chewed, but it never reached a point where I was wincing. I think that’s a positive because Skittles made me realize there’s such a thing as too sour.
I also tried the Hubba Bubba Max, thick gum cubes. The gum had a tasty bubble gum flavour, and was soft to chew. The price was about the same as Excel, but comes with fewer pieces because of size. It’s also harder to chew for a long period (but that does make blowing bubbles easier).
Thrills aka The Reject:
Thrills…gave me chills. It’s meant to taste like soap. I knew the risks, but I had to review it. The only points it gets are for the accurate smell and taste. Otherwise, it was foul. It lingered for too long and I had to apologize to people for having soapy breath. I felt like a child who ate something forbidden, but tasty looking.
Excel Spearmint ‘excels’ for a reason. It’s a classic! Overall, I have had the least number of issues using it. The flavour is most associated with what is considered fresh breath. Nobody connects bubble gum or blue raspberry to freshness. Second place is a tie between Dentyne (for its similarity to Excel) and Hubba Bubba tape (for its tasty flavours and cutting strategy). With this information at hand, I hope you grab some gum and enjoy Bubble Gum Day!