The Actual Flavor Of Juicy Fruit Is A Mystery

Though some might argue whether chewing gum is bad for you, flavors are usually easily identifiable from the first bite — sometimes even written on the package as clear as day. But one type of chewing gum, a particularly "juicy" one, is a bit of a mystery.

Wrigley's famous Juicy Fruit, a gum that would benefit from the water trick to make flavor last longer, is unique in the sense that most people don't seem to know just what exactly the gum tastes like. Much like a good wine, the flavors of Juicy Fruit are layered, complex, and everyone seems to notice different flavors with each chew. Candy website All City Candy markets Juicy Fruit as a "pineapple and banana flavored delight" while others speculate that the gum tastes uncannily similar to the African and Asian fruit known as the jackfruit. Some may taste notes of citrus like lemon and oranges and others might even discern that it just tastes more like sugar than any known type of fruit.

But while most people may not know what Juicy Fruit's flavor is, there is one select group of people who do: Wrigley. Would Wrigley ever give up the secret as to what makes so Juicy Fruit so juicy or will it forever remain a precious company secret?

The true flavor of Juicy Fruit may be an artificial flavor

Just as Coca-Cola keeps its secret formula under lock and key, so too does Wrigley guard its secret formula for Juicy Fruit. The company has never told exactly what the real flavor of Juicy Fruit gum is, although it has been known to give hints as to what it could be. As Mental Floss tells us, Juicy Fruit wrappers during the 1940s would boast that the juicy flavor of the gum was thanks to a "fascinating artificial flavor" without describing just what said flavor was.

One of the more recent hints Wrigley has given can be traced to a fan e-mail response in 2002. The e-mail stated that the flavoring formula for the gum was considered to be too valuable to disclose and that, for "competitive reasons," the company couldn't give exact details. What scant details the company was able to provide, however, proved to be somewhat enlightening. The four fruit flavors in Juicy Fruit are apparently a combination of bananas, lemons, oranges, and pineapple. 

While it's understandable that Wrigley can't go around telling secrets about its most popular products, it seems the company delights in making customers try to unravel the mystery of the elusive, yet temptingly sweet, Juicy Fruit flavor.

Juicy Fruit had a much different flavor when it was first sold

While you may think of Juicy Fruit as a nostalgic treat that dates back to the 1940s and 1950s, the truth is that Juicy Fruit is actually much older. According to Old Time Candy, Juicy Fruit was first sold by Wrigley's at the tail end of the nineteenth-century, somewhere around 1893. If the gum is over one hundred years old, then one would expect that the "secret formula" to its flavor is just as old as the gum itself, right?

Surprisingly, Juicy Fruit didn't taste like fruit when it was first introduced. It allegedly had more of a mint flavor to it, similar to Wrigley's other chewing gum Doublemint. It wasn't until 1914 that the mysterious fruit flavor was added to the gum. It seems that Juicy Fruit's secret flavors are a bit more modern than the gum itself, adding another layer to this already complex mystery.

Juicy Fruit isn't alone in having a unique but complicated taste. In fact, regular pink bubble gum suffers from the same problem. Bubble gum, such as Dubble Bubble, is actually a combination of artificial fruit flavors like banana, strawberry, and cherry to give it that classic "bubble gum" flavor. It's hard to describe because it's basically made up of different flavors, just like Juicy Fruit, so everyone who chews gum tastes something a little bit different.