Extra Dessert Delights Gum: Wrigley Pulls the Old Switcheroo


Would you rather have mint-chocolate-chip ice cream or apple pie for dessert?

Thanks to Fork in the Road San Francisco correspondent Tracy Van Dyk for sending this picture of a gum Wrigley started marketing there, but not widely available here — perhaps because our stores are so small and can’t fit the gazillion lines of gum products currently being trotted out.

The two pictured above are from Wrigley’s Extra line of gum, a sugar-free product launched in 1984 said to sustain its flavor after being chewed for a while (yeah, and I’m Martha Stewart). The website makes the extravagant claim that the gum offers “incredible, long-lasting flavors that can trigger a state of perpetual enjoyment,” making it sound like a branch of Buddhism.

Several subsequent iterations of the line were produced, the most recent of which is Extra Dessert Delights, said on the website to be inspired by real desserts. Indeed, the gum might almost be seen as a dessert substitute, because who, after eating a real dessert, wants to pop a piece of gum in her mouth with the scary, sugar-free, hyper-artificial tastes these gums no doubt possess?

If Fork in the Road can find them in town, we’ll conduct a tasting, next to the real dessert.

The entire flavor line includes rainbow sherbet, apple pie, orange creme pop, mint chocolate chip (ice cream), strawberry shortcake, and key lime pie. Note they’re not attempting any dessert with chocolate, probably because no convincing artificial flavor exists.