A Chiclet History
by Laurnie Wilson
The Chewy Truth
I chew gum, you chew gum, everybody chews gum. In fact, everybody has been chewing gum for a very long time. Gum has been popular almost as long as Chiclets have been around! Almost, but not quite. Think you know the chewy facts of this time-tested treat? Well, read on to see if you’re right!
The history of Chiclets really begins with chicle, the natural substance found in Chiclets, and the substance from which the candy gets its name. Chicle can best be described as a kind of sap. Chicle harvesters slice into the sapodilla tree, releasing the chicle within, and harvesting the chicle that is released. This then forms the base upon which the Chiclets gum is built.
A Gummy Past
Back in the day, Chiclets only came in one flavor, good ol’ peppermint. Over the years, a variety of different flavors have been added. But no matter what flavor people were chewing on, this candy-coated gum remained a huge success.
But who created these tiny gems, anyway? As it turns out, answering that question is a little more difficult. Chiclets have been manufactured by Cadbury Adams, a company originally founded by Thomas Adams, since their creation. In its first incarnation, Adams’ company was called the American Chicle Company, and was founded in 1899. It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that Chiclets were added to the list.
Thomas Adams was the first to put Chicle into gum. However, legend goes that it was a candy salesman who actually came up with the idea for adding the candy coating that made Chiclets so popular then, and now. And since then, there’s been no turning back!
So, pop open a box of Chiclets, sit back, and enjoy each and every pink, yellow, orange, purple, green, red, and white candy-coated gum inside. After all, it’s what gum-chewers have been doing for over a century!