Back in the late 1970s , the Gatorade people put their genius into snacks and came up with Gator Gum. The product was originally manufactured by the Fleer Corporation and was available in both of Gatorade’s lemon-lime and orange. Here you can see the Fleer Crown prominently featured in this supermarket circular.
It was popular enough in the 1970s to be included in a Halloween price list of “Treats by the Bag.”
In the late 1970s, Stokely-Van Camp, who owned Gatorade until 1983, negotiated a long-term licensing deal with Swell and Vicks to market Gator Gum. Very quickly the Fleer name disappeared from the package.
The gum would be manufactured continuously up until 1989 when the contract expired. After that it would be manufactured and intermittently distributed until the early 2000s. Although, I never found any of it during this period.
It was not the most popular gum on the shelves, but among fans (like me) it became an obsession. How would I describe this? It was VERY strongly flavored. Strong enough that it made your mouth pucker and then has this weird side-effect of making you salivate.
While the gum flavor was strong, it didn’t last long. My friends and I became obsessed with this short lived effect and could burn through a pack of gum is less than 30 minutes.
The gum was marketed as a cure for “Dry Mouth” and had some wonderful advertising associated with it. Here is a very memorable commercial from the early eighties.
As you might guess that green foil packaging and orange lightening bolt made for a compelling presence on the candy shelf. It was hard to resist.
While they have made other Gatorade products over the years, Gator Gum has yet to show up again. Sadly, I do not think their is much of a chance that we will see it again, but I can always dream.