A sticky trend

If you’re reading Trend Whisperer without attempting something else simultaneously you are in the minority. A recent Knowledge Network study showed two-thirds of Internet time is spent using another medium — TV, checking your mobile device, listening to music or doing something else. One of those “something else” examples happens to be trending extraordinarily high thanks to “Internet stacking,” which can be attributed to the increase in the act of “chewing.” From bizarre flavoring, art, aroma and scientific innovation, I introduce this week’s trend: chewing gum!

Although it is one of the most desirable things in a desk drawer, purse or glove compartment and was the culprit behind this season’s most popular color trends (think minty pastels and light pink hues), our favorite chewing pass time has morphed into a spin-off extravaganza! Examples of gum are popping everywhere. Think gumball machine dresses and pantry staples such as Duncan Hines launching bubble gum-flavored cake frosting. 

Hot Cuisine Chews, another example of a one-off of the gum trend, pays tribute with the launch of foie gras bubble gum — a gooey alternative to the French delicacy. These premium and controversial gumballs are sure to raise a few eyebrows and would make a great tongue-in-cheek gift for a tough-to-please chef or F&B director!

The marketing team at Wrigley’s Orbit chewing gum have combined social media and personalization to give consumers a fun, interactive brand experience. The Orbit Spotlight Series comprises a Facebook design app that creates customized packages of Orbit gum for individual users with designs based on the user’s Facebook information such as friends, photos and likes. Facebook fans then vote for a chance to appear on an actual Orbit gum package.

And if your curiosities have made you wonder if there really is a solid use for old gum, the answer is yes! The Gumnetic Chewy Pad from designer Anna Bullus aims to clean up chewing gum on the streets. She creates pillows that are a combination of recycled chewing gum and bioresin, which creates a cushion similar to memory foam and is fully biodegradable.

Next time your travels take you to Seattle, be sure to check out “The Gum Wall,” covered with thousands of pieces of gum, making for a shockingly colorful architectural statement.

With all plusses come a minus, and now there is growing concern over chewing gum litter in places such as the U.K. So, scientists at Revolymer invented a removable gum that tastes like regular gum and has the same texture, but doesn’t stick to surfaces. Referred to as Clean Gum, it can easily be removed from shoes, clothes and even hair, but its best claim is its ability to degrade naturally in water, and it will disappear from pavement within 24 hours. However, until Revolymer reaches mainstream levels, artist Ben Wilson is jumping on the marketing gum bandwagon by prettifying the streets of London painting around gum that has been discarded on the streets.

As Internet stacking becomes second nature to most, I strongly believe the reclaimed interest in chewing gum will continue with even more development, creativity and marketing of the sticky product.