A trip to CVS generally includes a stop in the candy aisle. It’s right there, right near the door. So convenient. And if, for whatever reason, you fail to notice it upon entering America’s premier convenience store, you’ll likely stumble upon it on the way out. The candy aisle is the shortcut to the checkout counter. It is the less congested artery connecting the back-store pharmacy to the blue-shirted cashier. It’s the land of bright, commercial color schemes beckoning your eye from the sterile no man’s land of paper towels and plastic forks. The candy aisle is also home to my new favorite gum: Stride.
Stride Gum, with its simple, sleek packaging and trademark “S,” caught my eye the other day, but not because of said packaging. Management had slapped a neon orange Clearance sticker on it, and, apparently, I had a limited window of time in which to purchase this gum. Panicked, I grabbed a value pack – three sticks. No, I thought. What if the flavor is abysmal? Then I’ll have to deal with over 60 sticks of abysmal gum. Following a few moments of intense contemplation, I grabbed the single stick of gum. At under sixty cents, it was a steal.
Stride markets itself as “The Ridiculously Long Lasting Gum.” According to Stride’s manufacturer, Cadbury, it is the mannitol – yet another artificial sweetener – which gives the gum’s flavor its longevity. At present, I am still hashing away at a piece I popped in over an hour ago, and the flavor, though diminished, remains strong enough to merit my chewing. Even better, the gum’s texture is still remarkably pliable. Where other gums toughen or dissolve over time, Stride retains its density without losing much softness.
Stride’s packaging also wins kudos, and not just for the Forever Fruit’s lovely citrus exterior . Opening a pack of Stride is much like opening a wallet. After unsealing the smaller front flap, you will find the back of the “gum display.” Simply unfold that, and you are faced with two rows of gum. Such packaging is far more effective than that of most other gums. Most other gums are packaged like Crayola crayons. Forget to latch the flap, and your crayons (er, sticks of gum), will topple out. Seeing as to how such a problem is not too uncommon, Stride has the edge. No loose sticks of gum cluttering your purse, or, worse yet, perfuming your wallet and key chain with the unpleasant scent of artificial fruit flavoring.
Stride comes in nine flavors – for now. Once finished with the Forever Fruit, with its notes of banana and tropical flavors, I will try a mint variety. Can Stride’s mint top Orbit? Stay tuned.