Opinion: Peppersmith Chewing Gum

Peppersmith - Header

It all started with a newspaper article that appeared in The Times over two years ago declaring that you didn’t need to floss. That rubbing a small piece of string between your teeth morning, noon and night was actually just a waste of time. If you wanted to reclaim your evenings and end the dissatisfied glare of the dental hygienist then all you had to do was swap over to a routine of brushing, flushing and chewing. Ok, well not flushing, but a dental mouthwash regime so involved that would you wouldn’t even put your clothes through.

Essentially it was this: Start with a pre-rinse mouthwash, then brush, then post cleaning mouthwash with two different types that do two different things. But, all this would only work if you spent all day, everyday, chewing gum as soon as any food entered your mouth. But it had to be one type of gum. It has to be 100% Xylitol. And at the time, that meant one brand Peppersmith.

Peppersmith Papers

Ok, so I may be exaggerating slightly to the demands of this cleaning, but the wash cycle and post meal chewing is correct, and with a slight hatred towards my twice yearly trip to the hygienist chair I thought “why not? Let’s give this a go“. And so, since then I have been chewing Peppersmith gum after most meals. As a result, I’ve become quite attached to the little white boxes. They’ve always intrigued me: 3 meals a day so you get 10 in a pack, I guess that people don’t really think of gum as a post food treat like I do, but more it was the little papers, famously moustached silhouettes on one side, repetitive fun facts on the other. A clever way to keep you gum from getting stuck to the bottom of your shoe when you’d worn out it’s chew.

Then they went blank. Trevor Bayliss was gone. Had Zorro been banished? So a quick, badly written tweet later and instead of an answer, probably because my tweet made no real sense, I had the offer of free gum. How could I say no?

And a few weeks later, my gum (and a some more papers) turned up, ready for chewing.

The first thing that hit me, aside from the new packaging design, was the fact that after “Peppersmith” the largest text to appear on the box is the word “new” and as soon as packaging starts proclaiming anything to be “new” especially when followed by “improved” alarm bells start to go off. This is usually marketing code for sneakily putting up the price and/or making the product smaller.

Peppersmith Box & Gum (New & Old)

Now while I can’t comment on price as they were free. I can comment on size and taste. Firstly: once again 10 in a packet that weighs 15g. And putting a “new” and “old” piece next to each other they look the same. So in theory, breathe the first sigh of relief. And then chew. Ok, so new does mean new. As it starts to breakdown, the gum seems to go a lot softer than its predecessor. And the flavour is slightly stronger. The cooling effects of mint really come through more now. And seem to last for longer. It feels like less of a jaw work out, less sticky, and more in keeping with the memory of chewing “sugarier” brands of gum. But that’s not unpleasant, and certainly not something that would turn me off it.

Peppersmith Box Lid

There is, however, one thing I don’t like about the new gum. And that’s the box it comes in. Aside from the new content design/layout, from the outside all looks normal. But open it up and a world of inventiveness appears. They have altered the self “locking” tab it uses to hold the lid shut, and while more secure, and providing a somehow more satisfying “click” it has meant that, they’ve removed the space for the papers they supplied to dispose of your gum in. And while the fun facts – apparently Aristotle thought men had more teeth than women – now appear under the lid rather than on the papers, I can’t help but wonder if the original, clever idea to keep Britain tidy, now missing, may give rise to piles of gum littering the pavement by my Dentist’s door?

Over all, I’m not impressed or disheartened by the “new” gum. It’s different in texture and taste, but it seems to serve the same purpose and so life will tick along as it has done for the past two years. I am, however, still mourning the loss of my little papers.

Peppersmith Balloon

I should finish this off with three things though: firstly, I should say that with lots of recent news courage around product promoting blogs, I haven’t been paid to say any of this, it’s purely my own personal opinion in a blog post that isn’t about films; secondly, the dental hygiene routine does work in keeping the man with a drill happy but costs so much you have to question the sanity of it and thirdly, I wonder if Peppersmith fancy a balloon!?

Posted on by 5WC in Opinion First Edition

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