Thursday, September 29, 2022

Disneyland’s Real Love: The ‘Gum On 2’ Candy brand is the real deal

Who would not melt with these beautiful little coasters, featuring “Gum On 2” icons, mini mice and a friendly-looking mouse in a Bubble and Squeak bubble? The smaller top corner is a smooth marshmallow of a visage, surrounded by a charming strawberry bubble design. But, it is the name that truly sets them apart. “Gum On 2” on one hand, but a “Fruit Stripe” by another. The names are completely appropriate.

As one may think, it is exactly for this reason that people love the gum that bears both names. The experience can be almost as delightful as the real thing. The memory of having that pleasant gum keeps giving, even when using the 2 sugars (1 sugar is similar in taste to 5 grams sugar, a standard addition to a drop of gum).

In the early 1900s, the first production of J&B Fruit Stripe gum occurred in Japan, and in the States, its production was initially limited to New York City and Los Angeles. The New York City production location was a storeroom in the garment district.

Because of the fruit shape, the English translation was “string fruit.” In the 1920s, it was converted to “duck juice,” and, in the 1920s-30s, it was called “puff out.” However, it was no longer used as a stopgap item, but for several years, it was kept in vending machines in the New York subway system. In the early 1950s, large numbers of packs were sold through the Fred Friendly Dry Cane Company in Washington and the Spokesman-Review grocery chain in Portland, Ore. In February 1957, it was reintroduced by the Coors, Miners and Fruit company to the stores of Portland, and the firm displayed the spruced-up fruit bubble. By the end of the year, the pieces had changed back to their original look.

As the candy steadily gained popularity, more and more companies began to utilize the idea. A box of approximately 100 bubble gum pieces, in several shapes, pieces and colors were perhaps a necessity for people in big cities, where citizens had to stay connected with their friends and family while living in an often shabby environment. Additionally, large ads in newspapers often would feature “Fruit or Gum On” items as an advertisement to lure people into stores for the other, more traditional brand.

By the early 1970s, Sugar Worm gum had been imported from Japan and was called “Fuji Berry On.” The Fruit Spoon gum from PepsiCo was offered in both “Fruit” and “Gum” flavors, and the Pepsi-Cola Fruit On gum was a collaboration between the Pepsi brothers and an independent candy maker. In 1983, Warner Bros. produced a popular cartoon that was followed by a live-action version of the cartoon that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In the current market, this iconic candy must compete with Trident and Trident2: Fire, which are selling some of the best and most exclusive flavors, such as ginger, chocolate, coffee, banana, and citric (sugar, water and orange flavors). Other brands on the market do not use fruits, so the quality and consistency of one’s fruit taste is compromised. “Gum On 2” uses the Gum On logo and logo of a cartoon frog looking for love in a snow globe, as their marketing highlights the fruit-flavored flavor. The words, on their adorable coasters, say, “Two Flavors Feel the Love!” Perhaps their loyalty is their love of the gum.

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