I first found these last year on a trip to Seattle, and I’ve been patiently waiting for them to show up in Canada. And, well, what do you know? Here they are!
The pharmacy gum-rack shelf-talker showed three flavours available in Canada: Strawberry Shortcake, Apple Pie and Orange Crème. While I don’t miss the mint chocolate gum available in the U.S., I really wish Key Lime had made the trip across the border. Oh well.
Of note, in the States these are branded under the Extra name, not Juicy Fruit. No idea why they changed it around up here.
The Pitch: No real pitch, other than “Sugar-free gum.” The flavours themselves do the selling. Tried to load the juicyfruit.ca website listed on the package, but, last I checked, there was nothing there. There is, however, an ad campaign running in Calgary right now, including a giant billboard visible from the C-Train line. No silent launch here; website glitch aside, they’re really pushing this gum.
The Look: Colourful, with photo depictions of the dessert the gum is supposed to taste like. They’re in those nice 3×5 stick packs that 5 gum uses. Each piece is the same shape as a traditional stick of Juicy Fruit.
The Taste (Strawberry Shortcake): Much like I remember it from the States. Juicy strawberry up front, then fades quickly before bottoming out with at least a bit of berry left. Some cream and vanilla, but I’m not sure how much shortcake I’m getting. An easy flavour to like. It’s not so oddball that you’ll quickly tire of it.
The Taste (Apple Pie): Imagine green apple gum, but less sour, blended with a non-spicy cinnamon gum. Extremely strange, and sure to polarize. At first, I thought I liked it. After a while, it started to play tricks with my head, and all I could think of was that I was chewing a mouthful or potpourri. I’ve eventually settled somewhere in the middle. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. The flavour fades fast.
The Taste (Orange Crème): Like a Creamsicle, which is clearly the intention. Think McDonald’s orange drink, with a cooling splash of cream. The name makes it sound more bizarre than it actually tastes. Not bad at first, but the flavour shifts to yucky medicinal within a few minutes. My least favourite of the three.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $1.89 for a package of 15 pieces at Calgary Co-op.
Value for cash money: Good.
Availability: Just starting to show up in gum racks. Should be easy to find in short order.
Nutrition?: Per 1 stick (2.7 grams): 5 calories. Not much else in here.
The verdict: Nice to have in Canada, though I’d happily trade the Orange Crème for Key Lime. Please? Wrigley? Are you listening?