Glittery Gum Exists — But Do We Need It To?

It’s been about 15 years since we last brushed up on our unicorn trivia so pardon us for asking, but are unicorns eternal or something? We’re only curious because the unicorn food trend absolutely refuses to die. Though the novelty of cakes served with edible horns has worn off a little — after almost two years — the trend continues to spawn other food fads. Most recently, sparkles seem to have been shaken off the unicorn’s glistening coat and onto nearly every single dish, drink, and treat you can think of. The oddest among them might just be Ice Breakers' new Glitter Gum.
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Yesterday, Hershey’s released a limited-edition version of its Ice Breakers Ice Cubes gum and it’s called Glitter Gum for a reason. The small white cubes really do shimmer and shine, and they even leave little sparkly flecks on your hand after you throw them in your mouth. To achieve this effect, the candy company used edible glitter, an ingredient we've seen a lot of lately. Not only is the gum glittery, it also has a flavour that's much more unique than just mint. Glitter Gum comes in Summer Snow Cone "an icy, cherry snow cone flavour." Yes, it's minty, fruity, and sparkly.
Despite all that's going on in these tiny cubes of gum, the glitter is definitely the most noteworthy feature. The press release announcing Glitter Gum's introduction, reads, "A trendsetter in the gum and mints category, Ice Breakers is tapping into the glitter sensation that’s sweeping the nation. Experts have declared 2018 'the year of glitter' when it comes to new food products."
It's true that in recent months there has been an uptick in the amount of glittery foods out there, however, this phenomenon has been building for quite some time. Almost a year ago, the internet was abuzz over glittery Prosecco, and this past summer, Twitter had some strong opinions about glitter cappuccinos.
Though there are definitely downsides to glitter — it just gets everywhere! — when it comes to glittery foods, we do see the appeal. There's no denying it's a fun experience to try, say, the Sugar Factory's "edible disco glitter" dusted glazed doughnut. Even if it's just once, and even if it's just for an Instagram photo, it's hard to deny that the sparkly offerings are mesmerising. Where glittery food is concerned, we're really no better than the magpie lining its nest with stolen shiny objects.
Still, gum just seems like an odd medium for unicorn food's latest offshoot. Gum, more than anything, is simply utilitarian. You chew it if you need to freshen your breath, keep your ears from popping on a plane, or maybe even to keep yourself from biting your nails, but you're probably never going to take a photo of it for Instagram — which is the whole point of the glittery food trend, right? When you chew Glitter Gum, you don't get a sparkly tongue — not that you'd necessarily want to, but glittery tongues are apparently a trend in their own right. Instead, like with all gum, you ultimately end up with a lump of soggy, flavourless putty. Glitter Gum serves its purpose as gum, but does it need to be glittery? Probably not.