As a kid, Excel’s Chiclets-style pieces of hard-coated chewing gum appealed to me, partially because they had flavour that lasted longer than seven chews – a Chiclets-specific issue I was reminded of every October 31 as I found two-piece fun-sized boxes in my Halloween candy. Excel had the familiar buck-tooth/pillow form of Chiclets, but came blessed with the minty punch of a gum designed to be felt, not just tasted.
But the packaging. Oh how I hated the packaging.
The blister packs would crackle, crinkle, rattle and pop, which was frustrating in movie theatres and downright dangerous if you wanted to sneak a piece in a gum-free classroom.
These new Excel Mist sticks have solved my packaging frustration, which means I’m now more likely to pick up a pack of Excel at a convenience store counter. But don’t think they’re the same thing as regular Excel pellets.
Some Wikipedia Digging: According to Wikipedia, Excel is known as Eclipse in the U.S. Yet, strangely, Excel Mist is apparently the same thing as Orbit Mist in the States, Orbit being a totally different line of gum than Eclipse. International chewing gum branding is decidedly complex.
The Pitch: On the Excel Mist package: “A hydrating sensation.” From Wrigley’s U.S. website, describing the Orbit Mist (see above note) product: “Orbit Mist® is a premium gum that contains Micro-Bursts® to deliver a hydrating sensation to consumers.”
The Look: Like lots of other packs of stick-shaped chewing gum. No crackling after the plastic is removed, and the cardboard is easy to recycle. One minor point, though: the sticks of gum weren’t adequately secured in one of the packages I tested, so they would slide around and fall out when I opened the pack.
The Taste: Soft, gentle peppermint quickly gives way to a wave of cooling mint. It’s a simple, sweet, clean peppermint, a little bit like toothpaste and a little bit like a candy cane. Intensity is level somewhere between Trident peppermint (low) and 5 Cobalt (high). I don’t know what a “hydrating sensation” is supposed to taste like, but it didn’t dry out my mouth. Win?
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $1.89 for a 14-piece pack at Save-On Foods in Edmonton.
Value for cash money: Good.
Availability: Canada. Cornershops, big-box stores and everything in between.
Nutrition?: Per 1 piece (1.9 grams grams): 3 calories.
Vegetarian Friendly?: Nope. There’s gelatin in there.
The verdict: Another nice peppermint choice on the gum rack. I’ll happily buy it again.