In the highly competitive chewing gum market, imitation isn’t only the highest form of flattery, it is also a necessity. When Bubble Yum was released in the 70s, for example, Bubblicious and Hubba Bubba were right on its heels. Likewise with the world’s first liquid-filled gum. Adams was first out of the gate with the enormously popular Freshen-Up in 1975, and two years later, a competitor arrived called Chewels.

Produced by Warner Lambert (yes, the pharmaceutical company), Chewels debuted on the market in 1977. What set it apart from its Freshen-Up foe was that it contained no sugar. The sweetness was replaced by the infamous alternative of the era, saccharine. Early commercials touted that it was the best tasting of all the sugarless gums, so good in fact that it would make you forget it was sugarless.

The novelty of Chewels was its concealed pouch of syrupy flavor, a trait that surprised many a first time chewer. The gum was available in four flavors – spearmint, peppermint, cinnamon and bubble gum and sold in foil packs containing five individually-wrapped pieces.

In 1981, Chewels earned the proud distinction of being one of the first products advertised on a new cable network called MTV. With millions of young folks tuning in to witness this brave new television territory, sales of the gum skyrocketed for a short time.

Sadly, like most novelties, the love for liquid-filled gum eventually tapered off. Freshen-Up survives to this day, but Chewels and another competitor called Tidal Wave were both sadly discontinued in the mid-80s, leaving fans of sugarless gum without a way to get their squirty fix. Today, the gum exists only in our memories and in the advertisements and images that survive.

Were you a fan of this sugarless alternative to Freshen-Up? We would love to hear any and all of your memories of Chewels gum in our comments section below.

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