Trident Layers

By: Cadbury Adams USA

I Paid: $1.49 for 14 sticks of gum (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 4stars

Marketing: 4stars

In the constant arms race of gum sales, novelty is the weapon of choice. Old stalwart Trident has taken a new approach by stacking flavors up in its new Trident Layers gum. Each little rectangular brick is actually a sandwich, with the outer “bread” slices representing one of two complementary fruit flavors and the filling representing the other. The gum boasts of having “real fruit flavor,” which should always be a signal for skepticism, but a taste test suggests that there’s something to this claim: The stuff has a spunky veracity that does in fact suggest that a real piece of fruit was somehow involved in its production. Not intimately involved necessarily, but at least in the room, supervising.

Wild Strawberry + Tangy Citrus is acceptable but not particularly memorable; it’s a competently executed strawberry gum with a hint of orange flavor and a bit of that artificial sweetener aftertaste. Green Apple + Golden Pineapple, by contrast, is a standout: It’s vibrant and crisp, the tart taste of apple offset distinctly by the tangy punch of the pineapple. Sugar-free or not, it must be one of the most memorable and clearly defined flavor combos of any gum on the market. You’ve got to hand it to Trident: Sugar-free gum isn’t the most expansive stage upon which to dance, but the manufacturer has managed to produce a ballet of flavor with its Green Apple + Golden Pineapple variety. And Wild Strawberry + Tangy Citrus is at least a line dance, for what it’s worth.

Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale

By: Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.

I Paid: $4.99 for a dozen 12-ounce cans (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 3stars

Marketing: 4stars

Ginger ale is the latest unlikely but inevitable entrant into the group of products marketed for one or more of their chic constituent nutrients, rather than for the holistic quality of the products overall. It’s no longer enough for a soda to taste good with pizza or be refreshing after mowing the lawn; it’s now apparently useful, as is the case with Canada Dry’s new Green Tea variety of its popular ginger soda, to claim (with no small measure of capitalization): “Enhanced with 200mg of ANTIOXIDANTS from green tea and Vitamin C.”

As for flavor, the bite of traditional ginger ale is greatly reduced in this beverage. In its place is a slightly syrupy floral note that recalls spa products and perfumed antiperspirant more readily than it does sipping tea in a Tibetan monastery. If you’ve tried Jujubes, those waxy little candies that are great for long movies and/or removing unwanted tooth fillings, a similar flavor is at work here.

It’s not a disaster, not by a long shot: The flavor recedes relatively cleanly on the back end of each sip, and the overall experience is refreshing, if a bit harshly carbonated in a typical American soda pop kinda way. So, if you’ve jumped onto the antioxidants bandwagon (and there are some relatively reputable sources that encourage such behavior), Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale seems to be a fine way to inject some into your daily routine. Alternatively, of course, there’s always actual green tea.

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