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This is a review of the 60 peice tubs of extra gum
Chewing the fat
When I was a child I liked to eat. Mostly food, occasionally mud and dog hair. Thankfully I grew out of that habit by the age of five. I did not, however, grow out of the habit of eating. In fact, food is up there on my list of favourite things to do, right in there with “sex” and “be paid for doing nothing”. I think this list makes me a well rounded and normal individual. The reality is probably quite different. Point being, if you are going to spend your life enjoying putting things (mostly foodstuffs) in your mouth, you should probably adopt some sort of dental hygiene. Ask my gorgeous dentist and he will tell you that my teeth are perfect. He’s a liar, they are squint and have fillings, but they are always very clean.
I don’t for one second attribute my dental health to gum. I started chewing gum when it was full of sugar and you could blow bubbles the size of your head with the stuff. Normally this resulted in a burst bubble and a resulting haircut. These days I stick to Wrigley’s Extra for my chewing needs; I tried going back to bubble gum just for nostalgias sake but it’s just not as stretchy as it used to be. Big sigh.
Forever and ever ago
Wrigley (who are now a subsidiary of Mars Inc.) have been around forever. Well, since 1911. That’s when they started selling their products in the UK starting off with juicy fruit and spearmint strips. In 1952 they added Tunes to their range, following on with Opal fruits (now starburst) in 1960, Skittles and Lockets in 1974, and finally the first sugar free gum in 1977. From then it took them till 1989 to release the Extra brand of Gum that most people will recognise. Since then, both the British Dental Health Foundation and the Irish Dental Association have approved Extra as a good supplement to dental hygiene. If you really crave more information about Wrigley, they have a rather professional looking website: www.wrigley.com/uk and if that isn’t enough you can even give them a ring on 0845 604 8495. I’m less than sure what you’d really want to discuss with them, but there you go!
Extra, Extra, Read all… oh you know where it’s going.
So, as part of their fantabulous journey
into the corners of every handbag and pocket in the UK, Wrigley’s decided to release a handy bumper pack for chewing addicts. Rather than the usual small pack, this pack comes with 60 spearmint pieces for around £1.90. Wrigley likes to call them pellets, though that feels a bit weird for me, always bringing to mind something used to kill rodents. Far too medical me thinks.
The pack itself is rather pretty. It is about three inches tall and two inches wide and a lovely contoured shape. The lid comes with two sections. One is a small flap on the side to allow a couple of pieces to be coaxed out by shaking the tub. The top of the tub, however, also opens up fully so if you prefer you can open the bigger flap and just dip your fingers in to pick the pieces out. Oh the choice!
You should store this in a cool dry place, away from heat or moisture. If you don’t, I really don’t recommend chewing on it as it will be a bit soggy and gross. On the plus side, you won’t end up putting this pack through the washing machine as it’s slightly too big for your jeans pocket. No more soggy gum in your pocket! Yay!
Neat freaks rejoice!
The first thing I love about this pack is the neatness of it all. Most people will be familiar with the sight of a week old pack of gum, half eaten and folded over at the top to keep it fresh. It looks ragged, wrinkled and messy. You’re never sure if the pieces inside will still be edible and you’re never sure you really want to try and find out. This pack solves all of that. Its sleek contours look great, the packaging doesn’t wrinkle and crack as it’s made out of plastics. The pieces inside never end up looking crumbled and inedible as the pack is like a mini Tupperware box keeping them fresh. The pack looks a lot better than the smaller paper ones and I can happily sit it on my desk at work without it looking like a mess. It can even fit neatly into the cup holder in my car without making every look littered. Fantastic!
The next obvious upside of this pack is that it in theory will last you a lot longer. If you are anything like me, you’ll want two pellets of gum for each and every occasion you wish to chew on some gum. One just doesn’t feel like there’s enough in your mouth and three feels like too much. Due to that, I can usually get through a normal pack in a day. I’m a spearmint gum whore. As soon as the flavour fades a little it’s out of my mouth and a new set goes in. This means that the normal paper packs last about two or three hours when I’m on a gum kick. Never more than a day anyway. These packs tend to last me three or four days which is a massive improvement. It also means if you have some compulsion to hoard gum, pens, paracetamol, ibuprofen, telephone wipes or other at your work so that in the rare occasion a work mate is desperate for something you can give them it, this pack is great. 60 pieces means no worrying about your quickly diminishing gum packet.
Replace one bad habit with a slightly better one!
If you’ve been paying attention you’ll remember that I love to eat. I really, really do. I am one of those people who will eat food just because it is there. If something is in front of me, I will happily pick away at it, consuming till I turn into a massive balloon and pop. At which point blood and guts would go flying. Gum, however, has saved me from this Seven-esque fate. I am very aware that this habit isn’t a good one, so I try when I can to curb it. Gum helps this to no end by sticking something tasty in my gob to chew on. It’s similar to the way that smokers find it difficult when their hands have nothing to do. Having the gum here helps me stop eating junk when I don’t need to be, all the while keeping my teeth clean in the process!
How long does it last?
On the pack Wrigley recommends that you chew for 20 minutes after eating or drinking. This apparently helps to “neutralize plaque acids, balance the plaque pH in the mouth, protect against early damage to tooth enamel, maintain tooth mineralization and rebuild tooth enamel”. Sounds like a mini workout for your teeth, keeping them healthy and clean. Most people will really only want to know how long the flavour lasts since gum is pants when it loses its flavour. To that end, I am going to time how long it takes for the flavour to die. Here goes nothing:
11:59am start chewing.
12:06pm flavour has died down but still there.
12:25pm we still have faint flavour.
12:38pm flavour is pretty much gone and gum is getting tough to chew.
12:41pm I can’t hack it any more.
Pictures of Wrigleys Extra Spearmint
Gum is coming out.
I lasted 42 minutes. The flavour lasted 39 minutes. So it’s more than capable of fulfilling its recommended 20 minutes. Huzzah! The flavour is a lovely fresh minty flavour as most spearmint flavoured items are. It’s not as harsh and brutal as the other flavours are as it has a little sweetness to it. The subtle sweet flavour continues throughout your chewing experience making it that much more enjoyable. Near the end of the 42 minutes the gum started to become uncomfortable to chew but you really don’t need to chew it for that long.
Calories?? In gum?!?
As with most thinks like blinking or looking at cakes, gum has calories. Thankfully it really doesn’t have that many. There are 149 calories per 100g in this gum. Now for some maths; there are 60 pieces weighing 84g in total in this pack, meaning that each piece would be 1.4g. You’d need 72 pieces to make 100g so with that math you’d assume each piece has 2.06 calories (roughly) which isn’t actually that bad really. If you eat a whole pack of these you’ll consume about 124 calories. That’s less than a bar of chocolate for the whole pack which should last you anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. Pretty decent. Take into account the fact that chewing gum will burn calories as you do it, it probably negates those horrid little numbers all together.
Anything Extra to add?
Another great aspect of this gum is that it is suitable for vegetarians. Some gums contain gelatine which is made from the bones and skin of pigs and cows, but this one doesn’t. So if you prefer your cows to be alive you will be happy to know there are no animals within your mouth as you chew away. Personally I’d prefer to be chewing on the cow than the gum, but each to their own!
One interesting thing that you will note if you read the fine print is that “Excessive consumption may produce laxative effects”. If you are a gum whore like myself, this may be something you want to pay attention to, though I’ve never noticed any ill effects. In saying that, I have so many stomach issues I’d probably not notice if one particular thing was giving me the runs. The same can be said of other minty products (seriously, look on your pack of polo’s next time) so it’s probably the mint that does it. Who knows? Doctors, that’s who.
Is that all there is?
Yes. Well. Apart from my conclusion: Wrigley’s Extra Spearmint gum is brilliant. It tastes great and the flavour lasts for more than long enough. The 60 piece pack is great value for money at around £1.90 (depending on the retailer) and looks a lot better than its smaller paper counterparts. It’s suitable for vegetarians but can cause laxative effects if you over-chew. Overall a most awesome product.