There are many gum products on the market that most people are not aware of. Clarks’ Teaberry is one of these products that has actually existed since the early 1900s but is not really all that well-known. The gum is still on the market today despite rumors that it might be discontinued, which has made some gun enthusiasts really happy. There are many people who enjoy trying new gum products out, and this one is really unique.
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If you have not heard of this gum, you are in luck! It is still sold today, and you can get it from Amazon if you want to give it a try. It is also sold through some regional chain stores and small candy companies as well. Maybe Teaberry gum is in your local drugstore, and you just didn’t know!
Teaberry Gum History
Teaberry Gum was originally created in 1900 but did not become popular until the 1960s. The D.L. Clark Company of Pittsburgh bought the patent to make the gum from Charles Burke. Charles has been experimenting with making the gum and had been flavoring it like his favorite wintergreen flavor. This flavor was inspired by the Teaberry leaves that Burke had enjoyed chewing when he was a child.
The “easy chewing” gum recipe that Burke had created was much more enjoyable than other similar products at the time, although chewing gum was not really the commonplace item that people are used to seeing in stores today. Chewing gum was not originally designed for a pleasurable experience. It was an offshoot of the medical industry, just like drop candy and some of the other sweets and confections that were originally made to deliver medicinal substances.
Chewing gum was really intended to be more of a breath freshener than anything else at this time, or it might be used to handle “nervous complaints” of various kinds. This was not a product that most people would have gravitated toward unless they were trying to hide bad breath or they were looking to help themselves break a habit of some kind. While gum is still used for these purposes today, the vast array of flavors that gums are sold in will show that medicinal uses or taming off nerves are not really the things that make people buy gum overall.
This gum was sold in little red and white packs that do not look much different than the product today. The end of the pack was marked to show the price of each pack, and the interior packaging was also red and stated that Clark’s Gum was the maker. There were also images of a teaberry plant on the wrappers, both inside the pack and on the pack itself. This was a simple gum, and it was not marketed as anything else for most of the years of its life.
However, things changed a little in the 60s when a series of really energetic commercials were made by Pelican Films. These commercials showed Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass doing the “Teaberry Shuffle” after eating a stick of gum. The people in the series of commercials would pop a stick of the teaberry gum into their mouths and then break into an energetic dance that was accompanied by Alpert and his band.
Alpert and his band were really popular at the time, and this connection for marketing the gum was an instant hit. Pairing the music with the activity of the dance was another key way that this product and the campaign behind its ads really stuck with people as well. This is one of the best uses of music and movement to create interest in a product that you can point to during this era. While there were not a lot of other gum products competing with this one at the time, there was still not as much demand for gum products by consumers either.
These people were usually placid types that needed some energy and enthusiasm. This was the most memorable ad campaign for a gum product to date, and people got really interested in trying this strange but fun-looking product. While the gum itself did not contain any ingredients that would make you dance or feel energetic overall, the ads had done the trick. People were interested in the product and wanted to give it a try.
This was one of the first gums that would be the traditional pink color, and it was also one of the first gum products to be sold in flat sticks that were stored in little foil packs. There were other products for breath freshening on the market at the time that were sold in pelleted or candy-style forms and a few gum products that were not also offered in small squares that were a bit hard on the outside. The soft and bendable stick style of gum was a big hit, and this was likely part of the popularity of this gum before this shape and texture were more common to gum flavors and styles.
The slogan, “Have a Little Fun,” was added to the later commercials from the 60s, and people really did seem to think that chewing this gum was enjoyable, if not fun. The fact that this simple product is still made today is a testimony to the reliable and enjoyable nature of this product. Wintergreen products continue to be used for breath freshening, but this is a bit of a unique version of this flavor profile since the taste is sourced from the teaberry plant and not a fake flavoring agent.
If you love breath-freshening gum and you want to try out a really classic and old product that is still being sold today, Teaberry Gum is a great choice for you! You will find that this is a pretty basic gum product, but the flavor is pleasant, and you might fall in love with this gum when compared to other more aggressively flavored products that are competing with it on the market today.
Teaberry Gum Logo
Buy Teaberry Gum Online
Ingredients in Teaberry Gum
From the Amazon Entry:
- Gum base
- Glucose syrup
- Artificial flavor
- Humectant (glycerin)
- Emulsifier (soy lecithin)
- Artificial colors carmine and carotene
There are few products on the market anywhere that are this simple, and you will find that this gum is pretty easy to keep fresh for a long time as well. The simple flavor profile of this product is enjoyable for those that hate overdone or highly flavorful gums. Most of the ingredients in this gum are naturally sourced, which is also a nice benefit of choosing this product for our gum-chewing needs.
Teaberry Gum Nutrition
|Serving Size:||1 Stick||Daily Value %|
|Amount per Serving|
Teaberry Gum Dance
The “Teaberry Shuffle” as the dance became known, was something to behold. The same dance was used in all of these commercials, no matter who was enjoying the gum. From football players to business people and guards keeping their post in order, the dance was kind of a hopping, leg-kicking experience. This usually only went on for a moment or two, and then the person went back to their normal activities as if nothing had happened. There are even spots where people on a date dance together or a person grocery shopping is seen to shuffle and dance after trying the gum.
This was a really memorable thing that sold the gum to audiences everywhere effectively. Sometimes commercial branding is based on silly things that you would never have thought would turn out to be so memorable. This is one of those kinds of advertising ploys that was really successful and probably totally unexpected. The shuffle itself is probably one of the biggest reasons that this product has been sold for so long and so successfully, even after the ads that made it legendary have stopped being shown.
It will be interesting to see what Clark Brothers, who is the owner of the product, will do with the marketing and the ads that need to be made to promote it. The gum was briefly removed from shelves, but there has been no indication that it will be taken off the market again anytime soon. This might all change, as most of these older products are always close to being cut from the lineup of items that are made by big companies.
This product is marketed by the same company that sells Zagnut and some other really old candy and gum products, so the people who love it can probably hold out hope that it will not be removed entirely from the market. Many older products like this continue to be sold to smaller companies and online even after they are no longer placed on the shelves of stores for sale.
Pictures of Teaberry Gum
Commercials for Teaberry Gum
There are so many happy dancing ads for this gum that show the Teaberry Shuffle. This is a classic version of this ad style:
Some ads from the 60s:
This was the bit of music that led to the ad campaign in the first place:
Another promotional item that was sold when the gum was more popular in the 60s:
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