Bubble Yum was the first soft bubble gum to arrive, way back in 1975. Enormously popular when it was introduced, it would soon find itself waging war, not only against a handful of competitors, but also an army of imaginary spiders.
To understand the impact of Bubble Yum, one must remember the bubble gum of yesteryear. Whether you bought Bazooka or Dubble Bubble in the penny candy aisle, or gnawed on those pink sticks from packages of baseball cards, or grabbed a couple of gumballs from the machine in the supermarket, they all had one thing in common – they were hard.
It took some serious jaw muscles to get things started, and a good bit of patience, if you ever hoped to blow that elusive big bubble.
Everything you thought you knew about gum changed when Life Savers introduced Bubble Yum in 1975. Each package contained five rectangles of gum so soft and malleable that even a novice could blow bubbles with ease.
Bubble Yum was available in both the original variety and a luscious grape version that is still fondly remembered. Both versions were a huge success out of the gate, and then the rumors started.
Perhaps it was because the gum seemed eerily soft, or possible because there were little granules of sugar that you could feel with your tongue, but a rumor was started that Bubble Yum contained spider eggs, and it spread like wildfire through classrooms and playgrounds throughout Long Island, and in the rest of the nation as well.
Of course it wasn’t true, but the folks at Life Savers had to do some major damage control, taking out full-page ads in newspapers across the country to dispel the myths. Luckily for them, the strategy managed to convince all those worried tykes and sales soon again began to soar.
Meanwhile, there were other versions of soft bubble gum hitting the market. Bubblicious, made by Cadbury, hit store shelves in 1977 with its own ambitious (and rather psychedelic) marketing campaign, followed by Hubba Bubba in 1979, and Big League Chew in 1980.
The era of soft bubble gum was here and we never looked back, thanks in part to Bubble Yum – waging a war against the evil (and imaginary) reproductive habits of spiders and emerging victorious, which paved that glorious pink road ahead for all the imitators.
Were you likely to have a pack of Bubble Yum in your pocket back in the day? Did you fall for the spider egg rumors? I’d love to hear all of your memories of the bubble gum that dared to be soft in our comments section below.
I definitely remember the spider-eggs rumor and the full page ad(“Someone is telling your kids very bad lies about a very good gum”).
Love your blog(although I grew up in Syracuse rather than Long Island, I’m definitely a 70s Kid!)
Thank you so much for the kind words!
Never heard the spider story. I used to chew all those gums and the one with the juice in the middle.
Yes, the spider story- I remember it well. Do you remember GRAPE bubble yum? Can’t get that anymore, sadly.
I was in Jr High when bubble yum was introduced. Kids used to sell pieces and packages for a profit…lol! Best gum ever, hands down. The bubble yum “original” they sell now is NOTHING like the red package back in the 70’s. I still miss it and the grape.
So true. The flavor is entirely different today. I miss it so much.
Every summer the ice cream man would drive his truck past my house. While all the other kids were able to purchase a variety of treats, my dad would forbid me from getting anything! One summer day I had a few coins in my pocket and decided to ignore my dad’s dire warnings…. I bought Bubble Yum! All my neighbors kids were there and were excited that I finally joined them and bought a treat. I was thrilled too but in the back of my mind I was completely terrified! My dad seemed to have eyes in the back of his head. He came running out of the house screaming at me! “What junk did you just buy?!?” I was immediately grounded and sent inside to my room. After a few hours he released me from my punishment and I was able to sit on the front steps with home bought ice cream. But it came with a warning…. never buy anything from the ice cream man ever again!! I never bought Bubble Yum since, but maybe I’ll buy a pack for myself if I see it now!
That’s hilarious! My parents were kinda strict but a 1 on the scale to your Dad’s 10. Hope you bought a pack just to be a rebel. Although, as people have commented, it’s not the same gum as the original.
taste the same
Like chewing sugar! The best bubbles and taste!!! Unfortunately my teeth paid the price…bubble yum was the best! My mother would buy carefree sugarless bubble gum and then when trident came out with bubblegum was allowed that….not the same!!
I’m 54 now and still chewing this gum!
Does anyone remember BubsDaddy gum?
It was a long stick and came in delicious apple and cinnamon flavor?
I ❤️ the magical 70’s!
Remember the rumors but thought that it was that it caused cancer. Don’t remember the spider eggs story at all. Do remember the full page ad in Newsday telling people that Bubble Yum did not cause cancer. Kids were so obsessed with the gum that they would stick it to their headboards at night and finish chewing it in the morning. That grossed me out. We weren’t allowed to chew gum in school, but that of course never stopped us. It was delicious and the flavor lasted. But I really was a Bazooka fan myself. C’mon, 3 pieces for a penny. Couldn’t beat that!
What was the cost of a package of bubble yum I’d like to pay back the pharmacy that I stole two packs from amazingly that home town mom and pop shop is still around