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Sometimes I think fondly on the America that was, during the height of the Chewing Gum Wars of the late 20th century. Combatants included Big Red, Doublemint, Bazooka, Big League Chew, Chiclets, and too many others to mention. They all had aggressive marketing campaigns, niche consumer bases, and seemingly an endless amount of hope and promises.
It was a different time. Everyone was chewing gum.
Young people who don’t remember might ask, what is Juicy Fruit?
Juicy Fruit is an American brand of chewing gum made by the Wrigley Company, a U.S. company that since 2008 has been a subsidiary of the privately held Mars, Incorporated. It was introduced in 1893, and in the 21st century the brand name is recognized by 99 percent of Americans, with total sales in 2002 of 153 million units.
Which fruit serves as the model for its flavor is kept vague in advertising, though in 2003, advertising agency BBDO characterized it as a combination of banana and pineapple, and some people say it resembles jackfruit. According to two books in the Imponderables series, peach is one crucial flavor among many others. It is likely that the chemical used for flavoring is isoamyl acetate (sometimes known as banana oil), a carboxylic ester, which is also found in jackfruit.
The average age of the typical Juicy Fruit consumer is under 20, with three to eleven year olds making up the heart of the business; those twenty years old and over account for 40% of the purchases. Sean Payton, former head coach of the New Orleans Saints of the NFL, is well known for requesting Juicy Fruit in the middle of games.
When you saw the title of this post, I bet some of you started singing the once pervasive jingle for Juicy Fruit. Get your water skis ready. Below is the iconic TV ad: