Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Orbit Cinnamint Gum

Orbit gum is not the newcomer it appears to be. Its status as a British import is emphasized by the smart TV commercials featuring British actress Vanessa Branch, but Wrigley's Orbit was actually first introduced in America in 1944. It was discontinued in 1946, and then retooled and reintroduced as Wrigley's first sugar-free gum in 1977 in both the US and UK. For reasons unknown to me, Orbit was replaced by Extra in America, but it stayed on as Wrigley's UK sugar-free gum. It was again reintroduced in the US in 2001 in its current sugar-free, premium package form. UK Orbit continues to be sold in traditional chewing gum sticks, and the US package design has only recently been released in the UK.

The Orbit premium pack design takes the form of other mid-priced US gums. The package is a flat rectangular gloss coated box with a closure tab, holding 14 pieces of short, stocky, paper-wrapped gum in two rows of seven.

The first problem with Orbit is the protective cellowrap. It doesn't have an easy-open tab, and took me an entire block before I was able to get it open. Perhaps Wrigley thinks only women with longish nails are chewing Orbit.

No, actually the first problem with Orbit is the price. At a bodega on 7th Ave in Chelsea, Orbit costs a whopping $1.75.

The gum itself was a little too hard. Perhaps this is the fault of the paper wrapping. Other gums in this package style have foil wrapping. The gum in this box of Orbit had the consistency of slightly stale Bubbleyum--no yield, no satisfying melt. It remained a bit too chewy throughout the 30 minute chew.

I chose Orbit Cinnamint because cinnamon is my preferred gum flavor, and I hadn't tried it before. As a cinnamon gum, it's not successful. The cinnamon flavor was so light that it seemed like a specter. The mint was a wintergreen type mint flavor, and was also pretty light. The gum was not overly sweet, which is probably one of the nicer things I can say about it. It was not especially refreshing, nor did it in any way make my mouth feel "clean," like the commercials insinuate.

The cinnamon flavor evaporated pretty quickly, but the mint flavor remained throughout the chew. I eventually chucked it, not because it had lost flavor, but out of ennui.

Overall, Orbit Cinnamint is pretty substandard. I give it 2 chomps.

review: 2 chomps; price: $$

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