The Orbit brand made its first appearance as a replacement during WWII when Wrigley shipped all its Juicy Fruit, Spearmint, and Doublemint gum to the troops. Discontinued after the war, it was brought back in 2001. #24 Orbit White, the tooth-whitening version, was an instant hit.
# 23 Dentyne began life as a cavity-promoting, sugared chewing gum that was inexplicably named for a conjunction of dental and hygiene. The gum has been around since 1899, but the sugar was only recently removed.
Here in the U.S., #18 Milky Way is filled with chocolate-malt nougat topped with caramel. Everywhere else in the world it’s known as a 3 Musketeers bar. Take away the caramel and you have the American version of 3 Musketeers, which is known the world over as a Milky Way. Got it?
When it comes to #17 Starburst, we all love to hate the lime. We wished so hard for a whole pack of strawberry-flavored cuboid taffy that a one-flavor version is now available.
Why 3 Musketeers? #16 started out as a trio of nougats in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.
Many in the U.S. have been captivated by the Japanese Kit Kat phenomenon. On these shores, we are lucky to find a peanut butter version of our #9 confection, while dozens of exotic flavors are created just for the Japanese market. There you’ll find Kit Kat flavors like cheesecake, soy sauce, vinegar, and cantaloupe.
Stride, #8, has managed to crack the top 10 in just four short years since its introduction. More of a branding success than confectionary, Stride hit the mark with its youthful customers through irreverent advertising, a viral YouTube video, and affiliations with video games and amusement parks.
Before the advent of artificial sweeteners, sugared #6 Trident claimed to promote dental health through the addition of three dental enzymes (Trident—get it?). When those “4 out of 5 dentists” were busy recommending” sugarless gum to their patients who chew gum,” Trident contained saccharine. Today it uses xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
There is an unpleasant tang to a Hershey Bar, #3. A well-guarded trade secret allows the Hershey Company to cut milk costs through some kind of freshness stabilization. We’re used to the taste here in the U.S., but there are fewer fans in the rest of the world.
#1 M&Ms started life as a practical solution to a problem: how to get chocolate treats in the hands of soldiers in the field without melting. The patented process, creating a hard-candy shell around tempered milk chocolate, became a world-wide phenomenon with countless spin-offs and brand extensions that can be found in more than 100 countries. This summer saw the addition of a new, salted pretzel-filled variety.