The Kitchen Think: Fed Up with “Energy” Products


“Energy” Chewing Gum. Really?

Last week the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. announced it will launch caffeinated chewing gum for adults… yes, you read that right, for adults.


Tapping into the exploding energy products markets, Wrigley is offering up Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, aimed at consumers aged 15 to 49. Each piece is packed with 40 milligrams of caffeine… as much as a 16-ounce soda or half-a-cup of coffee.

Wrigley says Alert will prominently display its ingredients and have warning labels. They plan to sell the gum in a unique hexagonal shape about the size of a nickel. It’ll also be priced at about twice what regular gum costs.

But really, there’s no way to stop kids from buying a pack. It’s not like gum is illegal… but neither are those high-octane energy drinks.

The gum’s launch comes at an auspicious time, when government agencies are focusing more attention than ever on so-called “energy boosting” product. Last week, the city of Chicago began considering a ban on energy drinks containing 180-milligrams or more of caffeine per container (that’s the common amount found in energy drinks). The FDA is also investigating reports of people who’ve died after drinking the beverages.

The gum comes in minty or fruity flavors, although Wrigley says it will have a somewhat bitter taste to dissuade those from chewing the gum “for enjoyment.” (Yeah, right…)

Obviously Americans crave an energy rush, with caffeine showing up everywhere… from Jelly Belly Sport Beans to Cracker Jacks.

But why does Wrigley have to incorporate caffeine, a psychoactive drug, into food that is familiar and easily accessible to children?


I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: