Monday, May 12, 2014

Redberry Sour Patch Kids Stride Gum - Easter Gift

Redberry Sour Patch Kids Stride Gum - Easter Gift
This year Stride released two Sour Patch Kids related chewing gums, this "redberry" and a lime version.

Brands teaming up to make a new product has been all the rage. We have Arizona and Dunkin' Donuts, Rita's and Swedish Fish (or Starbursts), and now this. Since the red sour patch kids are my favorite, I'm excited to give this a try. (I hope it tastes like the real thing.)

When you look at the packaging, it's obviously related to the Sour Patch Kids brand. Not only is the package in the candy's easily recognizable color scheme, but there's the obvious logo in the upper right, and there are little "kids" everywhere. I feel like the kids add a nice amount of playfulness, but there are 4 kids crammed onto the outside of this tiny gum package, which seems like a lot. Other than the large 'S' on the front of the package, Stride gets lost in the shuffle. Personally I like the bold and bright packaging, but I feel like Stride's lawyers or marketing team gave Sour Patch Kids way too much control over the packaging. (are they hurting for money or something?)

Inside there are even more kids! Admittedly, the one on the bottom seems a bit creepy if you look at it for too long, but they add some interest to the boring yellow areas of the inner packaging.

I love the illustration at the top of the package! There is so much going on that it reminds me of a Where's Waldo book, but the limited color palette make it simplistic and edgy. (Similar to a 2-screen print.) The illustration seems to cover all of the packaging, so more is revealed as the gum is consumed. The attention to detail is really fun and well thought out, but again this is really Sour Patch heavy. On the bottom section of the packaging stride's facebook page is mentioned, but it's hidden behind a wall of gum. I love the inner design and I wouldn't change a thing, but I still feel like Stride got the short end of the stick in this partnership.

Once the gum is unwrapped it has a scent that is really similar to Swedish Fish. It's been a little while since I have had normal Sour Patch kids, so my memory is a bit foggy, but I think that is what they smell and taste like. It might not be accurate, but the scent is really appealing.

When I started chewing I noticed that the gum was mildly tangy, but the flavoring was not "sour" at all. The flavoring is exactly like red Swedish Fish, which have that sweet cherry-ish flavor, but there wasn't enough of a sour kick to remind me of Sour Patch kids. While the flavor seems to have moderate staying power, lasting 15-20 minutes, I also noticed that the artificial sweetener in the gum lingers long after you've spat it out. I understand why shewing gums are using fake sugars, to attempt to save teeth, but the aftertaste can be pretty unpleasant. (And possibly unhealthy. I don't have conclusive proof, but I experienced Vertigo for the first and only time in my life after consuming several beverages that were made using Sucralose and no medical cause was ever found.)

I can see what the gum was aiming for but, if I was blindfolded, I would have said this was Swedish Fish flavored. This stuff is really enjoyable, and it makes for a nice little pick me up when I am sitting at my desk at work, but it just wasn't sour and artificial sweeteners make me a little nervous. I'm happy I have this pack, but I won't be going back for seconds.
© Maria Smith
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1 comment:

  1. I can't stand the artificial sweeteners (including sucralose) either. Don't like the taste or aftertaste. Not a fan of stevia either. But try xylitol (birch sugar)- it's been used in gums and candies for mouth/tooth health since early last century and the little cavity-causing microbeasties still haven't figured out how to metabolize it (they sometimes can with sorbitol). So they starve and the xylitol brings your mouth back to neutral or slightly alkaline, inhospitable for those microbeasties and especially helpful after acidic foods/drinks. But most importantly - it tastes essentially like cane sugar to me, I don't get any fakey aftertaste. (Humans have a high tolerance for it but keep away from pets.) So look for gums etc. made with xylitol and no other sweetener. I have a bunch of different brands that also use natural flavors (essential oils), which are also especially tasty. I also have granulated xylitol which can be just sprinkled on your tongue or put in water for the mouth health benefits after eating/drinking and can be used just like cane sugar (it's only slightly less sweet for the same weight/volume, I think). Just 6-10 grams per day is enough to make a huge difference for teeth and gums. So eat all the junk you want (hey, you have to, it's your job) but let your mouth recover with xylitol! I imagine you could even chew regular sugar gum for the flavor and then follow it with some xylitol. The xylitol gums only need chewing for a couple of minutes to get the xylitol out, then it's just flavor. I imagine the same is true for sugar gums.