REVIEW: Wrigley’s Extra Seasonal Edition and Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gums

Wrigley's Extra Seasonal Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum and Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum

In the land of guar gum and sucralose, where the pumpkins and gourds lie…

Two brands.
Many layers.
One flavor to rule them all.

Yes, it’s Pumpkin Spice Season, and, in the legion of opportunities to build up your pumpkin spice endurance, Extra and Trident are throwing themselves in the sumo circle to see which can make the product with just enough squash, just enough cinnamon, just enough grit, to transform a dessert of caramelized orange vegetables into a new and potentially terrifying medium.

Wrigley's Extra Seasonal Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum and Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum Trident-Extra face-off

With enough tire tread marks to wrap around a Ford F-150, the Extra pieces serve up a classic, slim look. The Layers, on the other hand, are the prodigy of pudgy, 3-dimensional nubbins, the Tetris blocks of a former life, if you will.

Wrigley's Extra Seasonal Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum and Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum Trident Tetris!

And, much like Tetris blocks, there is no pumpkin in either gum. No pumpkin at all. But a chewer still gets many of the sensations that a pumpkin-spiced treat might bring (sweetness, warmth, cinnamon spice). The Extra smooshes the sugar-and-spice sweetness in one bite, with an emphasis on the sweet coming together to taste something like a strongly cinnamon-spiced sugar cookie (or, more accurately, a cinnamon-spiced Juicy Fruit).

There aren’t any squash notes, but there is a strong emphasis on caramelized sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and fruity clove. It’s hyper-sweet and the spice fills me with Christmas optimism, and, as we all know, it’s so easy to accomplish stuff when filled with Christmas optimism. I even cleaned my house thanks to Extra gum.

Wrigley's Extra Seasonal Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum and Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum This clean house is brought to you by Extra gum

On the other end of the spectrum is the Trident, which has all the looks and smells of a Yankee Candle store in October, combining the familiar spices of cinnamon and nutmeg with a hint of sweetness. I have my hopes up, but as I start to chew…

Remember that scene in Return of the Jedi? Where Jabba’s henchmen are sucked into the maw of a gaping sandpit, wherein they are chewed and ddigested? That is how I felt while chewing the Trident: it starts off super sweet, but then eeks out into an amalgamation of popcorn, plastic, Halls cough drops, and those name-brand white jelly beans.

The spice is equivalent to gnawing on a basket of potpourri and, in a mere 47 seconds (47 SECONDS!), the gum got tough as the girders of Scottish gentlemen. Unless you have recently lost your sense of taste or have a particular nostalgia for gnawing on Goodyear Tires baked in a vat nutmeg, I’d recommend putting your pumpkin pie money elsewhere.

The Extra on the other hand? It had a solid 3-5 minute run before losing flavor, and even then, it had a soft chew and spice that stayed. Is it the sorbital? The soy lechithin? The Acesulfame-K? I dunno, but I do know that Acesulfame-K is almost as fun to say as “Stoichiometric ratio” or, “nuclear binary fission.” Thankfully, Acesulfame is not as intense or damaging to your internal organs as nuclear binary fission. Yay for not chewing nuclear radiation!

Wrigley's Extra Seasonal Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum and Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum The winner and grand champion

When I was 8 years old, I decided I’d be a Detroit Lions quarterback. As a 4.5-foot, 65-pound human who couldn’t get past the third rung on the climbing rope, I knew this was unlikely, but certainly not impossible, so I tried anyway.

Similarly, the concept of creating a gum that mimics pumpkin pie is far-reaching, but not ludicrous, and Extra did a respectable job here. While neither match the pie experience to the “–nth” degree, Extra takes a notable lead over Trident with its longer chew time and greater sense of roundedness in flavor, but just know that, like a 4.5-foot, 65-pound 8-year-old pretending to be an NFL quarterback, it still can’t quite replace the real thing.

(Nutrition Facts – Extra – less than 5 calorie, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of sugar alcohol, and 0 grams of protein. Trident – 5 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of sugar alcohol, and 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Wrigley’s Extra Seasonal Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum
Purchased Price: $1.39
Size: 1 pack/15 pieces
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Fruity clove. Nice vanilla balance. Lasts for about 3-5 minutes. Christmas optimism. Detroit Lions.
Cons: No pumpkin in ingredients. Not as aesthetically pleasing as the Trident. After 3-5 minutes, gets rubbery. Nuclear radiation.

Item: Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum
Purchased Price: $2.80
Size: 3 packs (14 pieces each)
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Pretty to look at. Tetris. Girders of Scottish gentlemen. Reason to talk about Return of the Jedi.
Cons: No pumpkin in ingredients. Like chewing a mix of cinnamon-spiced plastic, popcorn, and stale jellybeans. Gets tough after 47-seconds. Being chewed by a sandpit.

WEEK IN REVIEWS – 2/11/2012

Trader Joe's

Here are a few product reviews posted this week from other blogs we follow.

A Trader Jose’s product? I didn’t know Trader Joe’s changed names for different ethnic foods. So are Swedish products under the Trader Johan’s name and Japanese products under Trader Junsuke’s? (via What’s Good At Trader Joe’s)

Wait…Iron Man 2 was released in 2010. How old are these things? (via Clearance Cuisine)

It looks like a typhoon blew away the N in this product’s name. (via Drinkable Review)

The name of these biscuits sound like they’re promoting the upcoming G.I. Joe sequel, but they also sound like they’re promoting the Star Wars 3D release. (via Foodstuff Finds)

Will this gum help those who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time? (via Gum Connoisseur)

REVIEW: Trident Layers Sweet Cherry + Island Lime Gum

Trident Layers Sweet Cherry + Island Lime

The first thing that occurred to me when I purchased my trim, little magenta-and-white package of Trident Layers Sweet Cherry and Island Lime sugar free gum is that it sounds like a 70’s-era grindhouse action duo. Sweet Cherry is the prostitute-turned-undercover-inner-city-vice-detective and Island Lime is her hard-hitting, trash-talking, crime-solving Rastafarian partner.

I should invent a secret time machine and become a 70’s Hollywood producer. I’d make millions….. MILLIONS!!! (But maybe not if I forget to adjust for inflation.) The second thing that occurred to me is that it looks like the lime is violently bisecting the cherry on the package. This gum will be rated R.

Trident Layers Sweet Cherry + Island Lime Closeup

The Sweet Cherry and Island Lime gum itself is shaped like a rectangular block. Upon first chew, you immediately taste a strong splash of artificial lime flavor. Not terrible, but a bit too strong. Then the cherry flavor comes in. It’s not as potent as the lime… definitely more understated. The cherry is a subtle low note to the lime’s sparking high note. Though I soon began to wish the lime would shut up.

Like other Trident Layers gum flavors, the taste disappears after only a couple minutes of vigorous chewing. I thought for a second that maybe I was chewing too hard, and then I remembered that this is America, and I will chew my gum as hard and as quickly as I damn well please. Nonetheless, I did attempt to chew another piece more slowly to see if the sweetness would stick around longer, but alas, it wasn’t enough to prolong the fruity sensation. If this were one of those old gum commercials where the blast of flavor was portrayed as a bitchin’ wave, I would’ve bottomed out on the ocean floor and shredded my face on a coral reef in seconds. Totally NOT tubular, dude.

Trident Layers Sweet Cherry + Island Lime Opened

Trident Layers Sweet Cherry and Island Lime gum is all right, but its flavor lacks longevity, and even if it did last longer, I probably wouldn’t like it because the artificial sweetness is too much. The overall flavor profile of cherry mixed with lime is that of a jaunty cocktail minus the alcohol (a mocktail), although I guess you could chew this gum immediately after downing a couple shots of straight vodka and really have yourself a drink. I’d imagine you’re saving that kind of thing for the weekend. Or for when Sweet Cherry and Island Lime’s Badasssssss Fruit Splash Song premieres in a theater near you, back in 1974. But perhaps I’ve said too much.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 stick – 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of sugar.)

Other Trident Layers Sweet Cherry + Island Lime Gum reviews:
Mmm…Deliciousness
Gum Alert
TV & Gum Are Awesome

Item: Trident Layers Sweet Cherry + Island Lime Gum
Price: $0.99
Size: 14 pieces per pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: High notes of lime flavor accompany low notes of cherry very well. Exploitation cinema. Chewing your gum American-style. Mimics the flavor of jaunty, fruit-flavored mocktails. Time machines.
Cons: Artificial sweetness is overpowering. Flavor doesn’t last long. Mocktails. Wipe out, dude. Forgetting to adjust for inflation.

REVIEW: Trident Vitality Vigorate Gum

Trident Vitality Vigorate Gum

One piece of Trident Vitality Vigorate gum has ten percent of our daily recommended intake of vitamin C.

What!?! Where was this during the 17th and 18th centuries?

If only I could travel back in time to when the East India Trading Company existed so that I could be a crew member aboard one of their East Indiaman merchant ships that were used to deliver cotton, silk, spices, tea, and opium to England. With this Trident Vitality Vigorate gum in hand, I would be prepared to prevent scurvy, while probably high on opium and wrapped in a silk Indian sari. And I could laugh like Nelson Muntz at my fellow shipmates as their teeth fall out and pus-filled wounds form on their skin.

Haw-Haw!

Although, at only ten percent vitamin C per piece, it’s not a great source of vitamin C, but what can I expect from a piece of gum. Of course, if you or I were to go through a pack as quickly as a chain smoker goes through a pack of Marlboro Lights or Charlie Sheen goes through a pack of prostitutes, the nine pieces in each pack would easily give us almost a full day’s worth of vitamin C.

Trident Vitality Vigorate Gum 2

The Trident Vitality Vigorate gum has “a burst of citrus and strawberry” which comes in the form of a naturally and artificially flavored liquid center in each piece. While it says “a burst of citrus and strawberry”, I think a more accurate description would be a burst of orange and a smidgeon of strawberry. Or if you want the Food Network version of the description, it would be a BAM! of orange and a pinch of strawberry.

After about a minute of chewing, the gum provides a slight cooling sensation and the intensity of the gum’s flavor starts to significantly drop after the three minute mark. After that, you’re left to experience a light fruity flavor until your jaw can’t take it anymore or until you chew the orangy bejesus out of the gum.

Overall, I like the flavor of the Trident Vitality Vigorate gum, but I don’t see myself buying it again. I think its gimmick of having ten percent of my daily recommended intake of vitamin C doesn’t work because there are many tastier, and more effective, ways to get enough vitamin C to make me scurvy-proof.

For example, eating a large McDonald’s fries with five packets of ketchup will give me 30 percent of my recommended vitamin C. Snacking on a pack of Skittles will provide almost a full day’s worth of vitamin C. Drinking almost any VitaminWater flavor will give me 100 percent vitamin C per cup. Or if an orange accidentally fell into my shopping cart because I ran into the orange stand at the grocery store while being a rubberneck as I stared at the bacon, I could just eat that.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 piece – less than 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of sugar alcohol, 0 grams of protein, and 10% vitamin C.)

Other Trident Vitality Gum Reviews:
Snack Love
Gum Alert

Item: Trident Vitality Vigorate Gum
Price: $1.19
Size: 9 pieces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Pleasant orange flavor with a hint of strawberry. It has ten percent of my daily recommend intake of vitamin C. I like the box. Maintains its flavor for a decent amount of time. Skittles contains vitamin C.
Cons: Strawberry flavor could’ve been stronger. It has ONLY ten percent of my daily recommended intake of vitamin C. Made with a bunch of sweeteners (acesulfame potassium, maltitol, sorbitol, aspartame, and sucralose). Scurvy. Grocery store accidents. Being in a hotel room with Charlie Sheen.

NEWS: Trident Vitality Gum Has Added Benefits and Flavor Names My Computer’s Spell Check Doesn’t Think Are Words

Chewing gum bin in Anfield dugout

Vitamin C, ginseng and white tea are usually found in beverages, but Trident is stuffing each of them into a chewing gum to create their Vitality Gum line. The three varieties of the sugar-free gum include:

Awaken – a peppermint flavored gum with a bit of ginseng.
Rejuve – a combination of mint and white tea without the need for -nate.
Vigorate – a mix of citrus and strawberry with vitamin C and without an in-.

It’s unclear how much ginseng is in a piece of Awaken and the amount of white tea in a piece of Rejuve, but Vigorate is said to contain 10 percent of our daily recommended intake of vitamin C.

Oooh, 10 percent! Now I can stop sucking on limes to prevent scurvy.

The Trident Vitality line will be available early next year, come in nine-piece packs and retail for $1.29.