As I wrote in an earlier post, I got quite the 5 gum package from Wrigley via BzzAgent. The BzzGuide booklet that came with it was far more elaborate than I expected. Some excerpts:
- “Comes in stick form, which is the most popular.”
- “Because of its distinct design, you can open the pack with just one hand…”
- “Each flavor of 5 has a different set of ingredients referred to as ‘sensates.’… These flavor ingredients stimulate nerve endings in the mouth that signal to the brain that there’s a cooling, tingling, or warming feeling. It’s the same nerve that signals when there’s an actual temperature difference, so… a ‘sensate’ … fires the same nerve endings that triggers the perception of coolness.”
- And my personal favorite: “Play RFC with friends… Rain puts out Flare, Flare melts Cobalt, and Cobalt freezes Rain. You can find it on 5gum.com…”
Goodness, Wrigley’s marketing people! Overkill much? You have to admit though, their marketing people sure earned their keep. And the packaging design is pretty slick. Apparently there are little 5s on the package that glow under black lights, and, sure enough, I can open it with just one hand. I also like the added touch of the embossed 5s on the foil wrapper. Snazzy all over!
To recap thus far, the packaging is cool, the names are corny, and the marketing is… thorough and eager. But how does it taste?
Pretty good. Not amazing, but serviceable. An OM, mostly because I’m a sucker for the package design. The flavor does last for a long time.
A piece of Cobalt (peppermint) that I popped before lecture had about half an hour of flavor and over an hour of cooling ‘sensate’ power. Unfortunately, in the last half hour of just sensate, the gum got rather unbearable. Aside from continuing to make my mouth minty and cool, it was like any piece of Wrigley’s stick gum that’s lost its flavor – rubbery in taste and texture – which was distracting. Up until that point, though, it was decent gum, if not revelatory.
Flare (cinnamon) was not cinnamon-y enough for my taste, but it did earn bonus points for its long-lasting flavor and resilient heat ‘sensates.’ When I paid attention and sought it out, I did notice a little artificial sweetener aftertaste, but the flavor and ‘sensates’ are pretty effective at masking that unpleasantness.
Rain (spearmint) was surprising good. I don’t usually chew spearmint gum, but I’ve smelled it before, so I thought I had an idea of how it should taste. Rain was sweeter than I expected. It also had the weakest ‘sensates’ of the bunch. While the wrapper promised a tingling spearmint, I got more mint than tingle. Still, I enjoyed it and its lovely pale green color.
While stick gum may be the most popular, I prefer smaller, softer pieces of gum like Orbit, which is also owned by Wrigley’s. When Orbit loses its flavor, it’s still soft and can still be texturally pleasing to chew. 5 got too stiff and yicky after extensive chewing.
Still, if you like stick gum or like looking trendy, 5 gum should be a good buy. Just pulling out the packaging will probably draw you attention. You’ll have to feel silly talking about ‘sensates’ and Flare, Cobalt, and Rain as flavors, but hey, it looks cool!
And you don’t even have to buy the gum to try it, as I am giving away a pack of Cobalt and a pack of Rain. I also have three Buy 1 Get 1 Free coupons. Leave a comment here or in the previous 5 gum post with your email address (only I can see it) by tomorrow, September 22. If several people enter, I’ll do a drawing. If not so many people enter, everybody wins!