MyExtra Gum and Other Chewy Delights from Sweets and Snacks Expo 2011

MyExtra Gum, customized packs of chewing gum, was one of the true delights from this year's Sweets and Snacks Expo. It was love at first sight for me, a gal who is often chomping on gum--most often Extra Bubble Gum (which I've been warned makes me appear--or smell--like a kid. Hmmm.)

At any rate, I was pleased as a kid in a DIY candy store when their PR peeps contacted me with a discount code for a five-pack order. Five packs is the minimum order. Five packs of a single design, I should say.

If you've ever created an online photo album, it's a breeze to create your custom pack. They offer themes based on events like holidays and even bar mitzvahs or you can create your own from scratch.

Even with a pre-designed theme, you have a choice of styles, fonts, background colors and such. You can even alter the appearance of your photos giving them a high contrast look, a 70s feel, remove color and more.

Creating a custom pack was easy and enjoyable. I felt somewhat guilty for designing the packs without the boys around because I knew they'd have fun doing so.

The design process was straight-forward, but ordering that goofed me up momentarily. I knew orders came in units of five packs, but I didn't understand until checkout time that all five packs need to have the same design.

This after I'd crafted 5 different custom packs. At $5 per pack ($25 for the 5-pack unit), it would have cost me more than $125 for the gum when all was said and done. So for Father's Day the dads and grand-dads are getting one measly pack of gum each.

I'd love to see the folks at Extra bring down the price closer to $3 a pack, which I think would make it an easier sell for party favors, birth announcements and such.

In other chewy news

Glee Gum provides the most natural chew. Made with ingredients like real chicle and no artificial colors or flavors, it's tasty, but doesn't provide a long lasting chew for gals like me who will chomp on a piece for hours.

Rev 7 claims to be "the world's most environmentally friendly gum" in that it is degradable and removable. It promises to make our sidewalks a little cleaner. I'm not sure of the brand's secret, but perhaps it has something to do with the sugar-free gum's sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol or maltitol. This could become a favorite with moms; the brand folks say it won't get stuck in hair, but I'm not brave enough to experiment on my own.

Speaking of making the world a better place, each time you buy a pack of sugar-free Project 7 gum, your purchase helps fund a variety of causes, like feeding the hungry or planting fruit trees. The peppermint vanilla I sampled was an intriguing combination reminiscent of that first taste of a minty TicTac. I found the peppermint to be a bit strong, though.

Disclosure: All samples were provided for me; opinions are my own.
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