Value For Money

Tue, Jul 31, 2012, 01:00

Chewing gum

Peppersmith Chewing Gum

€2.45 for 11 pieces

This was unappealing from the start and not least because of its price, which is ridiculous. But first the pluses: it is free from aspartame, and has a comparatively natural ingredient list. It also has a mild, pleasant flavour, which we enjoyed while it lasted. After about nine minutes we were struggling to detect any of the “fine English spearmint” the makers promised us on the box. The brownish colour of the pieces is a little off-putting, and we were not mad about the texture, which was a bit tough at the start and mushy after 15 minutes. But what galled us most was the price. This is three times more expensive than a regular packet of chewing gum.

Verdict: Not for us

Star rating: **

Extra Blue

€0.85 cent

Wrigley’s pulled off quite the trick with this brand some years back and managed to take it from nowhere to market leader almost overnight. It also allowed people the chance to have a favourite Extra – blue, green, white and navy – and has sold gum by the truckload since. It is the market leader by some margin, and deservedly so – it is very good and the cheapest gum we tried. It is not nearly as good as the Cobalt, but it is almost half the price and is a good option when you need your chewing fix.

Verdict: Not the best but very good

Star rating:****

Orbit

€0.90 for 14 pieces

First impressions matter and this did not fare well on that score. It was, by our reckoning, excessively sweet and had a texture we didn’t like – soft and lacking any real chew. Having said that, it is widely available, comparatively cheap and the flavour lingers for an impressively long time. It has the same packaging issues as the Cobalt brand. While it may not have been the best chewing gum we tried, it was fine, and the 14 pieces will go a lot further than most of its rivals.

Verdict: Grand

Star rating: ***

White Mentos Gum

€0.95 for 10 pieces

Pricewatch was quite fond of Mentos sweets back in the day, and we can still sing the “happy Mentos to you” advertising jingle from many, many years ago. So we were well-disposed to the brand at the outset. But we did not like its gum at all. At nearly 10 cent a piece it is too dear, the individual pieces of gum are too small, and the flavours are too short-lived to make this value for money. The initial hit was quite minty but it dissipated within minutes, leaving us chewing a dangerously small, utterly tasteless piece of gum.

Verdict: Disappointing

Star rating:**

Cobalt 5

€1.45 for 12 pieces

This is very old school and the wafer-thin blue sticks are nicely wrapped in metallic blue foil. It is incredibly minty from the off and leaves the mouth feeling zingy and fresh. It has a great texture and the flavours endure long after its rivals have given up the ghost. There is more packaging involved, which is both a plus and a minus: it is hardly good from an environmental perspective, but the extra wrapping gives you a handy way of disposing of your gum. Some people might find the size of each piece a little on the large side, and then there is the price. At €1.45 it is the second most expensive brand we tried but, on this occasion, we think it is a price worth paying.

Verdict: Old-school greatness

Star rating: *****