REVIEW: Wrigley’s 5 Focus Gum (Peppermint & Spearmint)

Wrigley's 5 Focus (Peppermint & Spearmint)

If I was a gamer, playing Call of Duty in multiplayer mode with a bunch of foul-mouthed teenagers who also spew a lot of racist slurs, I wouldn’t need to chew on Wrigley’s 5 Focus Gum to concentrate. I’d just use the rage I feel towards those ignorant little cocks and direct it towards the game.

Or, if I was a programmer writing code for my own photo sharing website or iPhone game, I wouldn’t need “An Eye-Opening” peppermint or spearmint gum to get me to stay on track. All I need to maintain my attention is a Photoshopped desktop image of me in a hot tub filled with money and women to remind me of all the money and women I’ll have when I become a millionaire from my website that allows visitors to upload captioned pictures of manatees or my iPhone game called Cut the Fruit with Angry Friends.

So how does Wrigley’s 5 Focus Gum help one focus?

It does so with what I would usually consider a distraction — an intense burst of mint. Well, maybe “intense” is too strong of a word. While it almost cleared my sinuses and made my mouth feel like I was sucking on a can of menthol shaving cream, my oral cavity has been mintspanked harder by the much more curiously stronger Altoid.

The mint burst from the gum lasts for about 30 seconds and lingers at an above average intensity for about two minutes. After that, the gum becomes regular peppermint and spearmint gum. The cooling sensation does hang around in the mouth for 15-20 minutes, so if you’re planning to make out with someone, that is your time frame.

But does Wrigley’s 5 Focus Gum help one focus?

Yes, but not for the reason you think. There are studies out there that show chewing on any gum helps with concentration. So you could chew on a piece of Fruit Stripe gum and then spit it out 15 seconds later when the flavor runs out. Or you could chew on any of the other Wrigley’s 5 Gum flavors that aren’t named Focus to help you focus.

Wrigley's 5 Focus (Peppermint & Spearmint) Closeup

But, as I mentioned earlier, I feel the burst of mint is more of a distraction. Well, for me it is. I don’t know if I’m the only person who does this, but whenever I pop something into my mouth that’s minty and clears my sinuses, I like to breathe through my nose in order to feel the cooling sensation. I’m more focused on that than whatever task might be in front of me.

Overall, I can’t help but think that Wrigley’s 5 Focus Gum, which comes in pellet form, is pretty much just Wrigley’s Eclipse Gum in a black resealable pouch. Sure, it’ll help freshen my breath and it may help me concentrate, but if I was a blogger who ran a semi-popular junk food site, I think a deadline and some caffeine would do a better job at helping me keep focus.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 pieces – 5 calories, 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 5 Focus Gum (Peppermint & Spearmint)
Purchased Price: $1.89
Size: 15 pieces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Peppermint)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Spearmint)
Pros: Freshens breath. Lingering mint. Cool black resealable pouch. Getting rich from an iPhone game. Chewing gum can help with concentration. Getting rich from a popular manatee meme website. Fruit Stripe gum for 15 seconds.
Cons: Intense minty burst feels more like a distraction. Not nearly as intense as Altoids. Gimmicky. It seems like they took Eclipse gum and put it in pouches. Gamers who spew racist slurs. Fruit Stripe gum after 15 seconds.

REVIEW: Extra Dessert Delights Raspberry Vanilla Cupcake Gum

Extra Dessert Delights Raspberry Vanilla Cupcake Gum

The time my dad gave me a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume, I marveled at my plastic mask and thought, Whoa! I’m really a kick-butt, justice-fighting transmuted turtle! Four and a half minutes later, as the tight, thigh-hugging spandex of the costume cut off my circulation, it struck me: Where would I train? How could I keep it from mom? Would I be able to speak in turtle? How would I fight crime in spandex?!

Yes, dear readers, it was here, at the cusp of my 4-year-old birthday, that I recognized just how many elements there are to juggle as a hunchbacked reptile whose sole aim in life is to stop crime from a major metropolitan sewer system.

In a similar fashion, there are lots of elements one must juggle when dealing with a raspberry cupcake: fluffy cake, floofy icing, [oftentimes] gooey jelly insides, and, every now and then, some coconut flakes are all flyin’ everywhere. If cakes had monikers, the raspberry cupcake would be called Goofball Magoo: it’s kinda awkward and, at the same time, a bit ingenious.

However, if you’re running all about, those mini cakes prove themselves tough to transport and downright hazardous to those pants you just washed. Luckily, Extra noticed that there’s a hole in the bucket of the world for people who wanted a less chaotic raspberry vanilla cupcake experience and they’re now offering said flavor to their ever-expanding line of Dessert Delights Gum and I’m one eager human to jump on the bandwagon to see how it is.

Extra Dessert Delights Raspberry Vanilla Cupcake Gum 2

I already appreciate this gum. Just look at that unassuming aluminum wrapper, that trademark cornstarch dust. Classic.

Before I even chew, I gotta say that Wrigley’s did a swell job mimicking the raspberry-vanilla scent. The stick has a tart, artificial raspberry aroma that heightens into a straight-up sweet smell with a hint of… is that vanilla pudding powder? Sure smells like it.

Much like other forms of fruity gum, the smell of these chewy wedges permeates anything within a 2-foot radius. Depending on where you stow your 15 pieces, this could work for or against you. If you want your apartment to smell good, it could replace your Febreze air freshener. However, if you put said gum beside your tuna salad sandwich for lunch, you may have disaster on your hands. Please, avoid disaster.

The flavor of the gum itself is mild, sweet, and slightly tart, like a raspberries ‘n crème candy in chewy form: cool, sweet vanilla comes at the forefront while the raspberry comes in on the tail end and serves as the main highlight. The artificial-ness of the raspberry is there, but in a pleasant, floral way, leaning almost to the edge of a raspberry Fruit Loops without being too sweet, although it got a little overwhelming and even a little bitter as I came to the end of my brief chewing venture.

And it’s a brief venture, indeed. In a similar style to its Dessert Delight cousins, this stick of gum fails to sustain its flavor for long. After 3 sticks, I clocked it at an average of 6 minutes and 43 seconds before the flavor faded and, not 2 more minutes later, it turned into a Goodyear tire. Not exactly stunning, but not the worst I’ve had either.

The aftertaste lingers for a bit, which is something I could’ve lived without, but it was at least 97.6 percent better than morning breath.

Extra Dessert Delights Raspberry Vanilla Cupcake Gum 3

Like most sugarfree gum, there’s no nutritional harm or hindrance here. Aspartame and sucralose combine their powers to form a mighty low five-calorie chewy plank. Unfortunately, there’s no vitamin C in artificial raspberries, so you’re losing that in the switch from raspberry cupcake to gum. Fortunately, I have no fear of scurvy.

Life is full of little surprises. Like finding a twenty-dollar bill in the dryer. Or getting a double batch of Twix at the vending machine. Or learning that your pet frog can tap dance. While not as cool as a cavorting amphibian, I’d say this gum counts as a happy surprise. I had fairly low expectations of this gum and was pleased to find it’s no fuss, comes in an easy-to-close package, and makes my breath a little happier. While not something I’ll buy too often, it’s a pretty good stick of something fruity to gnaw on.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 stick – 5 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugars, 2 grams of sugar alcohol, and 0 grams of protein.)

Other Extra Dessert Delights Raspberry Vanilla Cupcake reviews:
Gum Connoisseur
Sometimes Foodie

Item: Extra Dessert Delights Raspberry Vanilla Cupcake Gum
Purchased Price: 99 cents
Size: 15 sticks
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Subtle Fruit Loops raspberry-ness. Vanilla tastes like Jell-O pudding. Classic aluminum wrapper. Only 5 calories. 96.7 percent better than morning breath. Goofball Magoo. Finding 20 bucks in the dryer.
Cons: Not a cupcake. Raspberry flavor can linger too long. Turns into a chewy tire after about 8 minutes and 43 seconds. Artificial raspberries don’t have vitamin C. The complexities of being an anthropomorphic hunchbacked reptile.

REVIEW: Extra Dessert Delights Lemon Square Gum

Extra Dessert Delights Lemon Square Gum,jpg

I’m starting to believe Extra Gum has ambitions to expand their Dessert Delights collection to include every single dessert ever made. This, of course, would result in thousands of different gum flavors, resulting in Extra having to open Walmart-sized stores filled with nothing but sugarfree gum sticks. I can’t decide if that would be awesome or a sign of impending dystopia.

If such a Gumopolis existed, I believe their new Lemon Square flavor would be found in the “Bake Sale” aisle, because lemon squares just seem like one of those items that show up between the homemade brownies and cupcakes at bake sales, with all the moms standing behind the table pretending like they’re not secretly competing to see who will buy the most of whose sugary treats.

I feel like the only other place you’ll commonly find lemon bars are at potlucks, possibly sitting next to a suspiciously empty dish of lutefisk. Lutefisk does not fit in with my vision of a Dessert Delights megastore, however. Not unless you consider lutefisk a dessert, in which case, I am terrified of you.

Please don’t take these remarks as disparaging to the lemon square; if you’ve never had one before, it’s kind of like a lemon meringue pie minus the meringue – flaky crust with a slightly tart lemon custard and usually a good sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar on top. I love the sour tartness of lemons and the consistency of custard, so lemon squares are right up my alley.

On their website, Extra describes their gum as “Refreshingly sweet and tart to the tongue, Lemon Square is the go-anywhere twist on the delicious dessert classic.”

While this gets the point across nicely, I thought I’d spice things up and make my own marketing pitch for it:

“Have you been craving a lemony dessert, but aren’t allowed within 500 feet of a school and thus can’t attend a bake sale? Is that blinking box strapped to your ankle preventing you from going to your local bakery? If so, you’re in luck with Extra Dessert Delights Lemon Square Gum! Our gum captures the taste of this classic homemade treat without you having to endure the glares of the entire PTA.”

I think it gets the point across rather nicely. Give me a call, Wrigley; I’ll work for spec.

Extra Dessert Delights Lemon Square Gum Closeup,jpg

So, how does this gum stand up to its real-life counterpart?

Well, gum ain’t ice cream, so it’s kinda hard to throw in some crust-flavored swirls or lemon custard like Ben & Jerry’s would. That said, I thought Extra did a pretty bang-up job on their Lemon Squares. As promised, the gum smells and tastes both sweet and tart, but strikes a nice balance between the two. The sweetness doesn’t drown out the lemon flavor, and the tartness doesn’t leave your cheeks puckered. Like a well-made lemon square, the citrus flavor shines without being overwhelming.

Unfortunately, Lemon Square Extra falls victim to a common gum phenomenon – it had great flavor at first, but that faded quickly, leaving me with a gum that tasted like aspartame and the faintest hint of lemon. Quietly ignoring the fact that I have too much time on my hands, I popped a stick in my mouth and set the stopwatch on my phone – it took exactly 2 minutes and 38 seconds for this gum to turn from “yum” to “blah”.

Extra Dessert Delights Lemon Square Gum could have gone wrong several ways – too tart, too sugary-tasting, too similar to chewing lemon zest – but it struck a nice balance between sweet and citrus. I’m not a big fan of fruit-flavored gum, but this one struck all the right notes and pleased my palate. Until 2:38, when it went from pleasantly-flavored to a bad aftertaste. I would have preferred if it had just faded into tasting like nothing, but thus is the curse of sugarfree gum. You enjoy it, that enjoyment turns into boredom, and you spit it out. Or stick it under something. Or swallow it, where it will then stay in your stomach for seven years. Hey, I’m not going to judge your gum-disposal preferences.

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

Other Extra Dessert Delights Lemon Square Gum reviews:
TV and Gum Are Awesome
Snack Love
The Mind of a Big Cat

Item: Extra Dessert Delights Lemon Square Gum
Purchased Price: 99 cents
Size: 15 sticks/pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Nice balance of sweet and tart. Gumopolis. Mild yet refreshing lemon flavor. Gum lasting seven years in your stomach is a myth.
Cons: Good flavor only lasts two minutes and 38 seconds. Obscure King of the Hill lutefisk references. Aspartame aftertaste. People who stick their ABC gum under things.

REVIEW: Extra Dessert Delights Root Beer Float Gum

Extra Dessert Delights Root Beer Float

Since the dawn of stuff, people have been looking for a way to get their dessert fix on for a mere five calories. While early attempts by our ancestors to eat grass and cut pieces of cake just really, really small yielded lackluster results, the efforts of Wrigley and their Extra Dessert Delights gum have recently revolutionized the way we experience dessert.

No longer forced to choose between extreme portion control or insane feats of metabolic fitness to combat the effects of grandma’s apple pie or a container of mint chocolate chip ice cream, we can now chow down on our favorite sweets for the caloric equivalent of an ounce of chopped radishes.

This summer, Wrigley expanded their temping Extra Dessert Delights line of sugar-free gums with a root beer float-flavored variety.

I was an early convert to Extra’s Dessert Delights and have now tried all the flavors, including the now-defunct Rainbow Sherbet flavor (still mourning that one, for what it’s worth). So there was no question I’d be buying the new Root Beer Float gum, eschewing the ever-present threat of becoming a human whoopee cushion, all thanks to those lovely sugar alcohols, which, if I’m not being clear enough, will give you more gas than Saudi Arabia.

I like my Root Beer crisp, rough around the edges, and on the high side of the carbonation spectrum (think Barq’s) and won’t waste time on that smooth A&W crap that might as well be cream soda. No, I’m a Barq’s man, dammit, and when it comes to proper root beer float construction, I won’t settle for no boxed Walmart Frozen Dessert nonsense to pair with my soda. Nope, its good old fashioned, full fat vanilla bean hard ice cream for me, and anything less is a travesty that should be banished from these here United States.

The root beer flavor of Extra’s gum doesn’t have that hard and slightly bitter bite, and it sure doesn’t have the kind of carbonation that will help me win a burping contest with my nine-year-old cousins. It does, however, have a proper balance of vanilla and spice, with a prerequisite sweetness to please anyone not horribly averse to the long litany of artificial sweeteners used in its construction.

Extra Dessert Delights Root Beer Float Closeup

Sadly, Extra Dessert Delights Root Beer Float is another gum that suffers from the time-space continuum of the gum paradox, which, if you’re unfamiliar, confirms the very fact that the better tasting the gum, the less time the flavor lasts. I got a good minute of strong root beer float flavor from my sticks, but after that, it’s the law of diminishing returns. Unlike a real root beer float, you can’t even burp up the taste hours later.

And this, my friends, leads to the greatest travesty of all. Remember those hard-learned lessons regarding sugar alcohol consumption? In my efforts to keep a constant and bottomless root beer float going (and at a mere 10 sticks, only 50 calories) the laws of nature eventually caught up to me. I need not say more.

Extra’s new Dessert Delight’s Root Beer Float Gum tastes like a root beer float, but it doesn’t impress me. For it to impress me, Extra would have to pull a page from Willy Wonka and either A) Make the gum change from apple pie to strawberry shortcake to key lime pie to root beer float without making me turn into a gigantic blueberry or B) Come up with a way to make the flavor last more than a minute.

Given how far we’ve come as a culture in gum flavor development, it amazes me this hasn’t happened yet. Finally, let’s be real, Extra. When it comes to your sugar alcohol warning, tell it like it is. Attempting to recreate a never-ending root beer float may not leave you burping, but it will leave you feeling like the human equivalent to a whoopee cushion in the hands of an overzealous 10-year-old.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 stick – 5 calories, 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.)

Other Extra Dessert Delights Root Beer Float Gum reviews:
Mmm…Deliciousness
The Mind of a Big Cat

Item: Extra Dessert Delights Root Beer Float Gum
Price: $2.00
Size: 3 pack/15 sticks
Purchased at: Giant
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like a root beer float. Smells like a root beer float. Good balance of vanilla and sassafras flavor. Smooth. Only 5 calories a stick. An All-American summer.
Cons: Gum paradox strikes again. Excessive consumption of sugar alcohols. No bite. No smooth, creamy richness component. Mug not included. Sugar alcohols.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Extra Dessert Delights Rainbow Sherbet

Limited Edition Extra Dessert Delights Rainbow Sherbet

Wrigley says their new Limited Edition Extra Dessert Delights Rainbow Sherbet gum is made up of the flavors orange, lemon, and lime. So I was hoping a stick of it would look like a vertical strip cut off from a Rastafarian flag, but it was just pink.

Of course, I should’ve easily guessed the gum’s color because the packaging has so much pink that I’m disappointed the profits from this gum don’t go to breast cancer research.

To be honest, I had forgotten what rainbow sherbet tastes like so I headed to the nearest supermarket to pick some up. Unfortunately, all the store had was a 4-quart pail of rainbow sherbet, so if you invite me to your Super Bowl party, guess what I’m bringing.

After chewing on a piece of Limited Edition Extra Dessert Delights Rainbow Sherbet gum and eating a little rainbow sherbet straight from the 4-quart pail using the smallest spoon I could find, I thought the gum didn’t really taste like rainbow sherbet. Instead it had a generic mild citrus flavor, which eventually became more lime-ish the more chewed on it. I also noticed the sherbet has a sourness that the gum lacks.

Limited Edition Extra Dessert Delights Rainbow Sherbet Closeup

With all of that said, I have to say the Limited Edition Extra Dessert Delights Rainbow Sherbet gum has a good flavor, even though it’s not rainbow sherbet. It’s a pleasant soft chew and the flavor lasts for a decent amount of time.

And thank goodness it has all of these traits because it seems it’s only available in packs of three. So if this gum sucked, guess what I also would’ve brought to your Super Bowl party.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 stick – 5 calories, 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: Limited Edition Extra Dessert Delights Rainbow Sherbet
Price: $2.17
Size: 3 pack/15 sticks
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Good flavor. Sugar free. Low calorie. Pleasant chew. Flavor lasts. Being irie. Super Bowl parties.
Cons: Doesn’t taste like rainbow sherbet. Having to buy a 4-quart pail of rainbow sherbet. Gum is not multicolored. Lot of pink, but no money going to breast cancer research.