Beemans Gum is one of the original chewing gum products that was sold in the USA, and it is still made today! This is a nearly historic gum-chewing experience that you might want to try just for the sake of getting to try a product that has been around for this many years. Classic gum products are a little different than the kind of chewing gum that we are used to today, and the chewing texture, as well as the flavor profile, can be really unique. This is part of why ordering some Beemans to try can be a lot of fun, particularly for younger people who probably don’t remember a time when gum was used as medicine.
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There are lots of reasons why this product has had staying power, and certainly, the uniqueness of Beemans Gum in the late 19th century was a big part of what has created its lasting brand recognition. While there are many chewing gum products sold today, this is still one of the most simple and enjoyable gums that you get.
Beemans Gum History
Beemans Gum was first made by an Ohio Physician named Edward E. Beeman. The product contained pepsin when it was first made but no longer has this ingredient in its recipe. The gum was made with pepsin to improve digestion, according to Beeman. At the time that this product was first being sold, candies and gum products were almost always made with medicinal purposes in mind.
The Beemans Gum brand would become part of the American Chicle company in 1898 when the first chewing gum hit the market. The Chicle gum that is more closely related to the chewing gum of today was actually originally brought to the US in the hopes that it would become an alternate source for rubber in the United States. The gum products that it spawned were much more successful, and Chicle has become synonymous with gum these days.
Beemans was actually removed from shelves in 1978 when flagging sales necessitated the then owner, Warner-Lambert, to pull the product from production. A nostalgia campaign was waged that was so successful that the gum was put back on the shelves of US grocery stores and supermarkets alongside Clove Gum and Black Jack Gum products which are also classic chewing gums. These traditional gums are often sold together, and new batches of all of them are released at the same time when sales necessitate making more.
One of the reasons that this gum was brought back to market was because pilots had traditionally chosen Beemans for their gum of choice. Being able to equalize the ears during flight is important for comfort, and any gum will do. However, there were many pilots who swore by this product over the others on the market, and this was a big push behind reviving the Beemans product for periodic sale.
The original Beemans wrapper shows a pig on it, but this was replaced with Beeman’s name and his portrait after the original years that the product was sold. The wrapper design has been stripped down for today’s marketing techniques. Today, the gum is packaged in a simple white sleeve that has a black logo, and a red banner underneath that reads, “chewing gum”. This is a very simple design, but clearly, it is effective. The Clove and Black Jack Gum products are marketed with the same really simple logo and design, which seems not to have dimmed their popularity in any way at all.
Beemans is sponsored today by Cadbury Adams alongside history gum products like Black Jack Gum and Clove Gum as part of a nostalgia effort on the part of the company. It is not stocked year-round on grocery store shelves, and it is made in small runs of products that are dispersed after completion. When sales have eaten up the products that have been given out for sale, more Beemans, Clove, and Black Jack gum is made.
The gum is actually manufactured in Morocco today, and it must be brought back over to the US for sale. Gerrit J Verburg Co is the actual company that sells these historic gum products in the US, but other sellers market them in other countries. Gerrit J Verburg is one of the largest candy importers in America, and they have the exclusive rights to sell the products in the US today. Technically, the product that you are enjoying when you buy it in the US is as close to the original product as possible without actually using the same recipe. All of the nuances of flavor are supposed to be there, but the recipe is slightly different.
Beemans Gum in Popular Culture
Beemans gum has made many appearances in movies and on TV. It is referenced in The Right Stuff, Hot Shots!, and The Rocketeer. It also makes an appearance in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The gum wrapper is really distinctive, which makes it a good choice for movies and TV. The 80s ad campaigns that included lots of pretty women strutting around probably also helped to make this gum product instantly relatable to audiences watching other TV shows. You might have been watching a show that mentioned Beemans, and then a commercial for the gum would come on in the break. While the gum is sold in a limited batch fashion today, this was not always the case.
Certainly, Beemans was associated with good health and medicine at the beginning of its life as a gum product. This can seem like a really strange use of a gum product to modern consumers, but for those who were consuming gum and candy in the 19th century, this was totally standard. Products like this were always used for healthcare needs at this time.
One of the earliest popular cultural connections with this gum was famous test pilot Chuck Yeager who chewed it before every flight for good luck. This was the first time that someone well-known had stood behind a product like this, and it did make a lasting impression on the consumers that were picking up the product for medicinal reasons. This was the first time that the product was associated with something like enjoyment for the sake of enjoyment.
Beemans Gum Logo
Buy Beemans Gum Online
Beemans Gum Ingredients
From the Amazon entry:
- Gum base
- Glucose syrup
- Artificial and natural flavoring
- Soy lecithin
The wrapper notes that this product contains soy but does not state anything about other allergens that might be present. This is a very simple gum product without many ingredients, which can be a nice change of pace if you are trying to stay away from artificial ingredients in your food and drinks.
Beemans Gum Nutrition
|Serving Size:||5 stick||My Daily Value|
|Amount per Serving|
What Does Beemans Gum Taste Like?
Many people wonder what the taste of Beemans is like. These older gums can be more flavorful than newer gum products. Newer gums are often fruity or very fresh and minty. This gum is described as a blend between Wintergreen and Juicy Fruit. Maybe this was to disguise the taste of the pepsin itself, which was taken from a hog’s stomach!
The flavor profile persists today, and those who have tried it find it to be enjoyable yet quite different from what people think of as chewing gum flavoring by modern standards. Removing the pepsin from the gum would have done nothing but improve the overall flavor profile of this product. If you have ever tried Clove Gum or Black Jack Gum, you will be prepared for a strong flavor profile. This is one of the many things that can be said about these older gum products. They are nothing if not strongly flavored!
The strength of the flavor of older gums is also a hold-over from their time as the delivery vehicle for medicines. No one wants to have to take medicine, but if you can make it a little less unpleasant to take, you can get people to buy it and stick with your product for the long haul. Be prepared for a strong flavor, but you will probably be surprised at how fresh and enjoyable the flavor of this product is. If you are not a Wintergreen fan, beware since the strongest part of the flavor profile is the mint aspect of the flavoring of this product.
Pictures of Beemans Gum
Beemans Gum Ads:
Beemans was associated early on with pretty ladies and with attracting people who were beautiful with your great breath. There are many years worth of Beeman’s gum ads that include images of pretty women and, then, as an afterthought almost, a pack of Beeman’s gum. While this advertising style was later abandoned, these sexy and suggestive ads did make a big impression on consumers. Many people will tell you that this is what they remember the most about this product line. Maybe this was why pilots were so attached to Beemans!
A classic 80s ad:
Another 80s ad:
An ad for the comeback of these classic gum products:
Another 80s ad:
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