What even is Bubblegum Flavor?

Don’t lie, at some point in our lives we’ve all had at least a teeny crush on the iconic flavor of bubblegum. Even if you’re not a huge fan of chomping on a piece, the taste is unmissable. Nowadays, it’s about even more than gum — this flavor is popping up (pun intended 😉) in everything from sweet candies to icy ice creams, playful lip balms, fizzy drinks and even your kid’s medicine. 

But ask just about anyone to describe what bubblegum actually tastes like and you’ll likely get a, “Uhhhh…it’s…ummmm…gum flavored?”

To figure this out, let’s rewind to the 1850s, where our flavor hero of the day, Thomas Adams, first gave us the game-changing taste. Funny enough, Adams wasn’t trying to tempt our taste buds. He’d actually been tinkering with a chewy, sticky plant gum, chicle, aiming to mold it into things like toys or bike tires (not exactly mouth-watering). When that didn’t quite work out, he shifted gears 😉….”Why not chewing gum?” But how to make what was originally supposed to be bike tires taste appealing (now there’s a flavor challenge 🫵).

Channeling his inner flavorist, Adams mixed together various esters (those magical chemicals that give fruit their delightful aroma) and dubbed his creation “tutti frutti” – Italian for “all fruits.” (Fancy, right?…a true marketer). Fast forward some years and another company hit the jackpot after adding latex (for that extra chew) and pink dye (because why not?). Voila! The beloved bubblegum flavor was born.

Next time you enjoy the iconic flavor, remember – you’re tasting a fruity cocktail of bananas, strawberries, cherries and more

Can you find them hanging around in there?

Still, what might be most impressive is Bubblegum’s staying power – it’s the flavor equivalent of the Energizer Bunny. Seriously, how many tastes from the 1850s can you name that are still crowd-pleasers! It’s practically hardwired into our taste memories. Remember that bubblegum-scented bubble bath from your childhood? It’s a flavor and scent that’s burned into our brains when we’re practically babies and is a sensory thrill you never really outgrow.

All across the candy aisle, you’ll still find bubblegum-flavored taffies, marshmallows, jelly beans and more. Yet, this universally loved flavor can bring a sense of playfulness to way more than candy! Exploring bubblegum flavorings can help you dip deep into consumers’ sense of nostalgia across an array of consumer goodies. 

Need inspo?:

  • How about an adults-only beverage with a hint of bubblegum syrup that transports you straight back to the playground?
  • Bubblegum-flavored ice cream, anyone? Extra points for piling on the candy shop toppings!
  • Infuse baked treats with a dash of bubblegum extract for a fun twist. Think macarons with a bubblegum kick.
  • Level up the lip balm game with a touch of bubblegum.
  • Or try using it to get your kids to eat their broccoli (We kid! McDonalds already tested that one and it was a no-go. True story.).

Still chewing on questions about bubblegum flavor? Ready to get popping on another nostalgic flavor?  Reach out to our team. They love answering questions and talking timeless tastes.

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