Hubba Bubba Hot Cocoa Gum - Target
When did gum become such a popular holiday item? First there's that Trident Layer's Candy Cane gum, then three seasonal flavors of Project 7, and now this? Did I miss some kind of "gum is the perfect stocking stuffer" memo?
The first time I heard about this gum was when it was posted on The Impulsive Buy back in October. I thought to myself, Chocolate gum? This I've got to try! The version they posted was a classic stick-form with 5 pieces, similar to Bubblicious, but I couldn't find that anywhere. I tried several Dollar Trees and other dollar store-style shops, but no luck. Then, while wandering the aisles of Target, I found this bank-style packaging with individually wrapped pieces.
I remember there being a LOT of candy themed banks in my Christmas and Easter gifts back in the 90's, but that concept seems to have gone out of style. I haven't seen something like this in a long time. Do kids even use piggy banks anymore? I feel like in this day and age they're sold more as decoration than as a functional way to store money. Ever see those crazy ceramic seasonal piggy banks at Target? What do people actually do with those things? Do they really change their piggy bank out to match the holiday every season? Or even store money in there? I think they're more for decoration and novelty than anything else. (I use a mini locked storage box from Limited Too to hold all my extra change, but that only gets emptied maybe once every 2 years at the change machine at the bank.)
This wintery penguin design is pretty festive, but this canister is covered with boring nutritional information and winter-specific imagery. Would kids really want to hang on to this year round to store their money? Then again, this bank is not very sturdy, so it might not last beyond the winter holidays anyway. It's made of the same materials as frozen juice concentrate tubes, so once it's been filled with pocket change and tossed around a bit, I see it losing all structural integrity. As far as packaging is concerned, this is a novelty product, and I really don't care for it all that much. (I do like the contrast of the colorful logo against the snowy blue backdrop though. Color-wise, this is pretty nice.)
Inside the paper bank are several pieces of individually wrapped cocoa bubble gum. I like the share-ability of these pieces, and that the wrapping is bright and colorful. Perfect for splitting some of these up into seasonal holiday goodie bags.
I unwrapped a pieces of gum, and it's a perfectly cut little brown cube. I'm so used to my gum having rounded edges that this seemed really unique. This stuff smells kind of like hot cocoa powder, with some strong vanilla notes (which might be recreating the marshmallow aspect of cocoa) and a hint of artificial flavoring.
I popped it into my mouth and started chewing, the texture of this bubble gum is thinner than what I'm used to, but it's got a decent bounce to it, and you can definitely blow a few bubbles. How does a chocolate gum taste? Well, it kind of tastes like normal bubble gum mixed with Hershey's chocolate syrup. It's not rich and milky, like real chocolate, it has that chocolate-water kind of taste to it. Similar to Yoo-Hoo. (Which I love.) It's really not bad. I get a pretty authentic cocoa (made with hot water, not milk) favoring from this, but my only complaint is that I don't taste any hint of marshmallow. I mean, marshmallows are the only thing that set cocoa flavored sweets apart from chocolate, right?
Would I recommend this? (Even though thebank-style packaging seems silly?) Yeah, I would. It's odd, but in a good way. I really liked how different it was, and when I shared some with my cousins, they seemed to like the novelty of this flavor quite a bit. I think it's a fun product to share with friends and family during the holidays, but it's not a flavor I would buy just to keep handy in my purse.