Bub’s Daddy Gum (History, Flavors & Marketing)

One of the most popular gums during the 60s and 70s, Bub’s Daddy gum is the grandparent product for Super Bubble. While the name might seem odd to modern gum and candy lovers, this was not that strange of a name for a sweet during this era. Bubble gum was just starting to be targeted at younger people during this time period, and Bub’s Daddy bum was one of the various products that were aimed at a younger audience’s enjoyment.

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The bubble gum that we think of today when someone mentions bubble gum is a lot like Bub’s Daddy gum, with its slightly tougher and stretchier texture that is great for blowing bubbles. If you love a bubble gum that really lasts and lets you have lots of fun while you are chewing it, Bub’s Daddy gum would have been at the top of your list.

Bub’s Daddy Gum

Bub’s Daddy Gum History

This gum product was probably first released in 1967 or 1968. There is a trademark for the name that was put in place in 1968, but the product was on shelves before the trademark was secured. The filing date of the trademark was actually 2/2/1967, but it was not finalized until 1/30/1968. The current trademark for the product is held by the Hershey Company and was renewed in 1988.

There were various flavor varieties of this product that were added over time, and fruity flavors were common, as well as regular bubble gum flavored varieties sold in most convenience and grocery stores during the 60s and 70s. This bubble gum product was unique for being shaped like a rope, which meant that you could bite off as much of the gum as you wanted to enjoy in one sitting and chew to your heart’s content. 

The original manufacturer was The Donruss Company, with a headquarters in Tennessee. They advertised their Bub’s Daddy product as one that “spoiled” kids with six flavors. The gum was also kind of hard to chew in the beginning, so kids were kept busy softening up the ropes of gum product enough to get to work chewing them. 

The original flavors were Fruit, Red Hot, Cherry, Apple, Grape, and Watermelon. The watermelon seems to have been a strong favorite among people who remember this gum being sold on shelves and many people mention with longing that they would like to have access to this flavor again someday. 

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When Bub’s Daddy gum was first sold, the individual wrappers of the sticks indicated that the sticks of gum were sold for 5 cents each. Later, the prices went up to 10 cents before the pricing information was removed from the individual wrappers.

These wrappers were quite simple and were color-coded for the flavor of the gum that was inside. Apple was green, for example, and the repeating segments of the wrappers showed dark green and light green striping and the “Bub’s Daddy” logo in the same color scheme as the gum flavor. The boxes that the gum sticks were kept in were also color-coded and looked much like the individual wrappers.

The priding would be listed at the edge of the box and the lid folded for display purposes. The box indicated all of the flavors that the company made, and then in a much larger font, the flavor in the box and the name of the brand in larger lettering. There were 24 sticks of gum per box, and kids would have easily been able to get more than one stick at a time with their candy money.

When the classic design was retired as the 80s approached, the wrappers were made solid in color and were color-coded to the variety of gum once again. The new wrappers also showed the Bub’s Daddy logo in red with a white background and stated that the gum was now “Softer and juicier”.

This is probably an adjustment that was done due to the very stiff and tough nature of the original product, but it might have disappointed many kids who valued this gum product for the kinds of dares they could put each other up to. Many kids would see if they could compress the entire stick of Bub’s Daddy gum into their mouth at once, something that was much harder with the original gum product.

Donruss was sold to the Leaf Company in 1984, but Leaf made Bub’s Daddy gum for a time after they were the new owners. The formula for Bub’s Daddy was also used to make Super Bubble, which was advertised with a big focus on its bubble-blowing features and capacity. Super Bubble is still made, unlike Bub’s Daddy gum, so you can give the Super Bubble product a try if you want to know what a plain version of the original Bub’s Daddy would taste like. Certainly, the bubble-blowing properties are the same, even if the flavoring is not.

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Leaf Brands would be sold to Switzer-Clark, who makes Jolly Ranchers near the end of the 80s, and the Bub’s Daddy product would go off shelves for good. Many people still miss the Bub’s Daddy gum lineup and wish that the product had survived past the end of the 80s. Super Bubble is a great bubble-blowing gum, but the texture and flavor of the product are nothing like the Bub’s Daddy gum product, according to those who are ardent fans of the original.

There were various other gum products that were sold around this time that had similar names that were not affiliated with Bub’s Daddy gum product. Big Buddy looked strikingly similar to Bub’s Daddy, right down to the wrappers and the flavors, and there was another gum that was advertised for blowing huge bubbles called Bub Bubble Gum.

This can be confusing to those who are trying to learn more about what happened to the Bub’s Daddy gum product, but these other bubble gums are not related to Bub’s Daddy. It is likely that there were so many similar gum products on the market at this time that they all started to try and piggyback on the success of Donruss’ product.

Bubble-blowing gum was very popular all the way through the 90s, but the market has slowed somewhat today. The awareness of the harm that sugars and preservatives in candy and food products can do to your teeth has steered parents away from these products for their kids.

Children used to spend a lot of time chewing gum just for entertainment, but this is not encouraged as much today. Considering how hard the original Bub’s Daddy gum product was to chew, it is likely just as well that kids are not trying to break off portions of such a large stick of tough gum product to chew it every day!

Gum products have evolved significantly today to be aimed more at breath freshening and less at entertainment. While there are a few remaining gum products on the market, like Super Bubble, most gums have been pulled from the shelves that are not intended to keep your breath smelling its best. The rounded gum ball style gum or the chewy rope version of chewing gum is also much less common today. Most gum products are sold in small and readily chewed squares or in thin strips.

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It is likely that the changes to the gum market would have impacted Bub’s Daddy gum even if it had been offered for sale after the 80s. There has been so much change in gum product marketing that bubble gums aimed at children are not common any longer.

While the fact that this iconic product from the 60s, 70s, and 80s is no longer on shelves makes many people quite sad, there is probably a good reason that Hershey’s, which holds the trademark, is in no hurry to make the product part of their regular lineup of candies and treats that are sold in the US today.

Bub’s Daddy Gum Logo

Bub’s Daddy Gum Flavors:

The original five flavors did not include watermelon. It was added a few years after the product started being sold.

  • Watermelon
  • Fruit
  • Red Hot
  • Cherry
  • Apple
  • Grape

Bub’s Daddy Gum Ingredients

Since the Super Bubble recipe is largely the same as the Bub’s Daddy Gum recipe, it is a good example of the recipe for this retired product. There would have probably been food coloring and flavor additives in the various varieties of Bub’s Daddy gum to make for the different varieties of the gum:

  • Sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Gum Base
  • Corn Syrup
  • Sorbitol
  • Artificial Flavor
  • BHT (to maintain freshness)
  • Red 40

The company notes that Super Bubble is made in a facility where it is exposed to eggs and soy, and it mentions that there is artificial flavoring in the recipe. These warnings might have been on the original product as well, although possibly not since disclosures for food allergies were not required in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Pictures of Bub’s Daddy Gum

Bub’s Daddy Gum Ads and content:

1980s Bub’s Daddy gum wrappers:

Bub’s Daddy Gum

A Dornuss Company ad for the product:

Bub’s Daddy Gum

An example of the 1970s wrapper styles:

Bub’s Daddy Gum

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments below. Thank you!

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