WAYSNACK MACHINE: Freshen-Up Gum and Soda Liquid Center Gum

Freshen Up Gum

Why are children obsessed with gum? This is purely anecdotal evidence, but as a kid I was always chewing gum, and pretty much every child around me was the same way. I’m not exaggerating; unless I was eating something, I was chewing gum, and sometimes I even tried to do both at the same time. Did you know chocolate makes gum dissolve? I found that out personally, and it is profoundly gross.

I even did that thing where I would “save” my gum overnight, usually by sticking it against the wall since I didn’t have a fancy headboard like every kid who does this in the movies. Why? Couldn’t I just get a fresh piece in the morning? You were weird, child me.

Freshen Up Gum 3

One of my fondest gum memories is Freshen-Up. It came in four flavors – Bubble Gum, Spearmint, Peppermint, and Cinnamon – and when you bit into them, a gel-like/liquid center with the same (but more intense) flavor would squirt into your mouth, which is much more fun than I make it sound.

CC Amurol AW Root Beer liquid center bubble gum pack wrapper 1983

Image via Collecting Candy.

I loved cinnamon Freshen-Up until I found an even more fun version of this concept – soda-flavored squirty gum! My fondest memory is of the A&W Root Beer variety; when you chomped down on it, what amounted to a melted root beer barrel was squirted into your mouth in the most delightful way. I also remember there being a Dr. Pepper variety, and the Internet tells me there were also 7-Up, Cherry 7-Up, RC Cola and even Slush Puppy (?!) flavors.

I never knew it had a brand name, but apparently the manufacturer was Amurol, the folks who brought you Big League Chew, Bubble Tape, and possibly every other novelty gum you’ve ever seen.

I thought Freshen-Up was long gone, but apparently it’s been available on Amazon as late as 2015. I have no idea how long the soda varieties lasted, but they have a distinct 80s feel to them.

I’d love to have the opportunity to bite into a liquid-center soda gum again, but I doubt I would take up the habit. Much like the flavor of the gum stuck to my wall, my desire for gum has all but faded away.

5 thoughts to “WAYSNACK MACHINE: Freshen-Up Gum and Soda Liquid Center Gum”

  1. I miss these!!! I would allow the gum to dissolve then the syrupy center explodes. Also the slurpee gum too!

  2. Oh man, I remember this gum. It had a particularly crass nickname at my school. (I don’t think I can say it here.)

  3. I specifically remember the first time I ever had Freshen Up gum. Me and my cousins had just finished reciting the name of every single person in our family while driving home from the shore with our grandparents. You know that jingle that goes like: “Kelly, Kelly, bo-belly, banana-pana, fo-felly, mi, my, mo-melli, Kelly!!” In an unassuming attempt to shut all of us up, my grandmother whipped out a spearmint tube out of her purse. “Want a mint?” In my child-mind, mints weren’t on the top of my list for faves, but heck, sweet sugary discs of artificial food coloring and HFCS? “Why not.”

    I remember the burst of juicy spearmint like it was yesterday. Like a mint-flavored gusher. The best damned “mint” if there ever was one.

    Gushers weren’t common in my house. Neither were tubes of Freshen Up.

    I need these back in my life…

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