It may be hard to believe, but the world chews over 560,000 tons of gum per year, including bubble gum, mint flavored gum, fruit flavored gum, cinnamon flavored gum, poop flavored gum… wait, strike that one. As Lloyd Braun once asked on Seinfeld, “Am I crazy, or is that a lot of gum?”
Yet somehow, gum still feels like an afterthought here in 2021. Who goes out to the store with the intent of purchasing gum? Gum is something we grab at the checkout counter while waiting in line. Then again, we all have that one friend who is always offering up gum, usually on a car ride. Is he really that generous, or is it a nice way of saying “your breath stinks”?
Alright, you came here for the top gums, not the oral history of gum. Tired of hearing the word gum yet? Oh, trivia question! Did you know Judy Garland’s real name was Frances Gumm? True story.
10. Fruit Stripe
Few gums appealed to kids like the multi-colored striped gum featuring the cartoon zebra. Come on, you know the song! “Yipes, stripes, fruit stripe gum!”
9. Bazooka Joe
Let’s be honest—this gum isn’t really that good. At least not the only pieces that sold for 3 cents a pop. The gum was super hard and lost its flavor pretty quickly. The comics were fun, though, and that’s what we’ll always remember.
8. Extra (Bubble Gum Flavor)
If you’re looking for pure bubble gum flavor with that perfectly soft first bite, look no further than Extra.
7. Big Red
Bar-none, the best cinnamon gum of our generation. That little hint of heat that makes kids grimace, it’s a crowd-pleaser for the teen-and-up crowd.
6. Juicy Fruit
You know the song, come on… “Juicy Fruit, is gonna move ya!” Granted, the name of the gum contains the word “fruit”, but tell me, what fruit do you know that it tastes like? None, right?
5. Bubble Tape
The gum is okay, whatever, but the idea that it came in a long rope in a plastic shell is what really sells it. It makes you wonder—does all gum come off the assembly line in a long string like that, and maybe the Bubble Tape folks were too cheap to invest in a gum cutter and accidentally struck gold?
4. Big League Chew
If ever there was a gateway to chewing tobacco like the pros, Big League Chew might be it! Shaved gum in a pouch, for whatever reason, resonated perfectly with baseball.
3. Topps Baseball Card Gum
If you were to go out and buy a pack of 1987 Topps baseball cards today, would you dare try the gum solidified to the back of a Kent Hrbek card? Of course you would! The cardboard flavor sorta seeped into the gum, but that’s never hurt anyone before.
2. Bubblicious Grape
This is the one and only gum where the very thought of it makes my mouth water. I really like that grape gum. I’d buy it by the case-full!
1. The Liquid-Center Soda Gums of the 80s
We’re not entirely sure of this history of these gums, but if you were alive in the mid-80s, you likely tried them and this image brings you an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. The gums were sold in packs of “chunks”, not sticks or pieces or what-have-you. The centers were filled with a gooey liquid that loosely tasted like the sodas. Someone send these to us and we’ll film ourselves chewing them all these years later!
What do you think? Did we “chews” the best gums for this list or did we pull a Big League Chew and strike out?