US Is Losing Its Taste for Chewing Gum

Especially the sugary kind

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 30, 2014 5:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's a sticky situation for chewing gum makers: US customers are buying 11% less of the stuff than they were in 2009, research firm Euromonitor finds. Forecasts say sales will keep dropping by another 4% over the next half-decade, Quartz reports. Sugary gum is faring particularly badly. While sugarless gum sales neared $3 billion last year, sugared gum brought in less than $500 million. Why are we falling out of love with gum? Experts aren't sure, the AP notes, but one key reason may be that there are so many alternatives.

Fruit chews and fancy mints, for instance, can satisfy our cravings and freshen our breath without being frustratingly sticky or grossing out those around us. The AP speaks to one guy who hates gum so much he usually won't even refer to it by name. "You talk to someone and they're just chomping on gum," he says. "If you substitute gum for any other food, like mashed potatoes, would you find that acceptable?" As for what gum is selling these days, Quartz offers a list based on last year's sales:

  1. Trident ($657.3 million)
  2. Orbit ($551.1 million)
  3. Extra ($488.7 million)
  4. Dentyne ($285.6 million)
  5. 5 ($275.9 million)
And the most popular flavors:
  1. Mint
  2. Spearmint
  3. Peppermint
  4. Berry
  5. Citrus
For more gum news, click to read about a "combat gum" the Pentagon is developing for soldiers.

Americans are opting for sugar-free gum these days.
Americans are opting for sugar-free gum these days.   (Shutterstock)
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