Though it’s standard fare in checkout aisles and convenience store counters, this gum hasn’t been around for as long as you might think. In 1975, Wrigley decided it was time to release a cinnamon flavored chewing gum. The “big��? in the name doesn’t refer to the size of the sticks, but rather the huge, power-packed flavor in every bite. (This is contrary to the image set out by Wrigley’s Big League Chew—only big “macho��? guys chew that stuff, right? Oh wait, it’s really for 10-year-old boys.) By 1987, Big Red was the best-selling cinnamon flavored gum in its market—how’s that for a success story? Now sold widely in the U.S., Canada and Germany, Big Red has a bolder, wilder taste than when it was first unleashed on the gum-chewing public. Like Wrigley’s Doublemint or Winterfresh, the gum comes in the 17-count Plen-T-Pak or the smaller, more convenient five-stick mini packs. But the single, ongoing packaging question that has plagued gum manufacturers is: How you can get so much flavor into one little stick and make it last?
Big Red’s flavor does last longer than many gums. Frankly, I don’t chew gum unless it provides fresher breath that lasts, and this gum is a gold-medal champion in that category. But perhaps I was just persuaded into chewing it by the company’s 1990s marketing jingle (always sung while several couples kissed passionately in the commercials background): “So kiss a little longer. Stay close a little longer. Pull tight a little longer—longer with Big Red! That Big Red freshness lasts right through it. Your fresh breath goes on and on while you chew it. Say goodbye a little longer. Make it last a little longer. Give your breath long-lasting freshness with Big Red!��? Despite it’s cheese factor, I could still sing every note—the sign of a great jingle. Yes, it worked perfectly during that era gone by, and I’ve been a proud chewer of Big Red (and the entire Wrigley family of gums) ever since.