J2 Archives: Stride VS Excel

Documented in 2007

This is how busy I am today. Aside from our broken printers, holds on projects and the general early week laziness, I sit here at my desk admiring the clock, in doing so I decide to do something semi-productive - other than calculating cable tray sizes - and see how much time it takes for my Stride gum to lose its flavor.

Since I first saw the Stride commercials, I've always wondered "How long IS ridiculously long lasting?" Because we all know Stride Gum is the "ridiculously long lasting gum" that is "good for us, and bad for them". "Them" being the company that makes the product. So I decided to put that claim to a simple test and analysis.

Let's start off with visual appeal. Like any new product, it's CREWCIAL (YEEEAAAH *holds up middle finger sideways and sticks tongue out) to attract new customers and provide the adequate first impression to convince the customer to reach his or her hand out and grab your product over any other product on the shelf. For me, it was the commercial that got me to choose this gum over my usual Excel. However, from a visual stand point it IS quite attractive with its metallic green style box with a giant silver "S" on the package. Also equipped with an Orbit-like opening - much like a cigarette package - to enhance the attractiveness. Nice touch.

Secondly, the message. Stride's sole purpose for releasing such a product is to convince the paying customer that this particular gum lasts 'ridiculously long' as per their advertisements. In further doing so - in addition to TV advertising - they've printed a message on the opening flap of the box stating how long it lasts. Which needs no further convincing because by opening the flap, which was initially wrapped in plastic, you've already bought it. But seeing this message seals the deal for the consumer and convinces the individual that he or she is in for a long lasting gum chewing experience.

Lastly, the trial. Besides my clock on the corner of my computer screen, I needed another medium for comparison. Luckily, I had a pack of Excel in the very same flavor - Spearmint. I was now ready for the ultimate chewing test. So without further ado, the Stride Gum Review.

1:41pm - Opened package and started chewing. So far great flavor, no signs of sweetness rush (where ALL the flavor comes at you at once and leaves you with a bland taste after a few minutes of chewing).

1:58 pm - Still had it's full flavor. No signs of slowing down or the gum hardening up from lack of 'juice'.

2:16 pm - STILL has the flavor. I'm beginning to like this brand.

2:21 pm - losing a little bit of flavor, it's not a rapid change but it is noticeable, but still alive and still chewing.

2:31 pm - beginning to lose the flavor, however I can still taste allot of spearmint, which is a healthy sign.

2:41 pm - 1 hour in, the flavor is weak, but I can STILL taste it and the gum isn't hard, because the gum is still 'gummy' enough to blow bubbles.

2:51 pm - 1 hour and 10 minutes, I can still taste it a little, there's enough juice to keep going. But it hasn't gotten to a point where I need to spit it out. This gum is f*cking impressive.

2:55 pm - I think I'm going to spit it out. It's lost most if not all it's flavor. VERY weak flavor, but the gum is still good enough to chew for a good 40 minutes more (hasn't lost elasticity yet), but for testing purposes, I think we've reached THAT point where we need to spit it out.

2:59 pm - I spit it out. This gum is promising. Let's see how it's competition, Excel, holds up...

So far I am quite impressed with the flavor endurance of this brand of gum. It's excellent. But how will it compare to it's competition? A brand that Excel-erates your breath and has been in the Gum-chewing game for quite some time. Will Excel hold up the same way as Stride? Only one test to go to determine who is king sh*t of the chewing gum world. I'm going to try Excel - the gum chewing veteran and the favorite of many regular gum chewers nationwide - and see if this gum lasts longer or even comes close to the new-comer, the "ridiculously long lasting gum", Stride.

3:08 - After chewing Stride, I get a weird aftertaste after sticking another brand of gum in my mouth.

3:09 - HOLY flavor rush! I get that flavor rush that I didn't get with the Stride. It isn't all bad though, I still have alot of flavor, but I noticed I've lost some flavor already with that rush of flavor fromt he hard shell of the gum.

3:13 - I noticed a significant decrease in flavor. I still have the flavor, but I feel I am losing it as I type this message. Stay tuned.

3:17 - I am losing faith in this gum, it's flavor was the same as Stride at the 40-45 minute mark. Sad. The flavor is still there though, but it's dying quickly.

3:22 - The flavor is almost nearly gone, but still present, it's still good enough to chew. The gum isn't getting hard. Similar to the first test at the 1 hour interval.

3:28 - Not even half an hour. I gotta spit it out. The gum is still alright to chew, but why? Unless you want to taste your own spearmint accented saliva, by all means. Almost no flavor. This competition is done, son.

3:29 - I spit it out into the garbage. No other comments.


1 Hour, 18 minutes

21 minutes

So, the verdict. Well, the answer is clear. Stride, as expected from it's impressive trial, takes the win. The flavor was good on both ends, however, the endurance of the flavor was unmatched. It was like Optimus Prime VS Furby in a wheel chair. It wasn't an unprecedented win, however the comparison was mind blowing. A full 57 minute difference.

So now let's analyze these results. Will - as per the advertising - the gum last the consumer so long that the Stride manufacturing plant shuts down and the company goes bankrupt? Now, let's take a look at the comparison based on the time trial results. Both Excel and Stride retail at $1.06 per package and $1.12 tax included. Chewing time for Stride was 1 Hour and 18 minutes, while Excel only lasted a mere 21 minutes. That means one can chew 4 pieces of Excel in the time it takes another to chew one piece of Stride until it loses flavor. So depending on how many times a person chews gum per day, Stride is literally lasting 4 times longer than the Excel.

Excel holds 12 pieces per package at 4 pieces per 1 Stride piece. Stride's standard package holds 14 pieces for the same price and longer duration (4:1). Which means, by the time the Stride package is finished, the average gum chewer will have to go through roughly 4 and a half packages of Excel in the same amount of time.

At $1.06 a pop for both, Excel is making $4.95 more than Stride for that amount of time it takes to finish a Stride package. Extrapolate that amount to yearly sales from the average consumer, that's quite a bit of money lost from longer lasting gum to support a $50 Billion integrated marketing campaign to support their claim that is in fact "ridiculously long lasting". Although, that is allot of money lost on the duration of the gum's flavor, it is virtually impossible for Stride to lose business on a very successful product and marketing campaign. Although the advertisement is convincing to the consumer and despite the 57 minute difference on my comparison test, the commercial is misleading.

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