Like many popular snack brands can attest, the popularity of certain products ebbs and flows with the ever-changing market and trends.
As popularity decreases, some companies may determine that the production costs are not worth the small amount of revenue made by the product.
Stride is just one of the several brands that seem to have disappeared from store shelves overnight.
Mondelez International, previously Kraft Foods, has confirmed that Stride gum was one of their discontinued product lines but has failed to provide fans with the reasoning behind the final decision.
Let’s learn more about the variety of factors that influenced the decision by the company to discontinue the Stride Gum line.
Why Is Stride Gum Discontinued?
One of the main reasons for Stride being discontinued is that it couldn’t keep up with the ongoing market for gum.
Mars Wrigley, in particular, already had a large fan base upon Stride’s creation, and Stride was never able to keep up with its popularity.
There are so many brands of gum that for a brand to stand out, they must rely on an excellent marketing team, and often, a rotating flavor profile to continuously attract more fans.
Stride is known for its wide variety of flavors, many of which have been discontinued as they lost popularity and sales.
Another reason Stride may have lost sales, which led to its eventual discontinuation, is that chewing gum has become less popular in recent years.
Mondelez International, the owner of Stride Gum, has announced that they are phasing out their gum business in some countries due to decreased sales since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic.
This is due to a variety of factors, including television popularity, a decrease in in-person shopping, and fewer smokers.
Additionally, dental and health experts have been more vocal about the disadvantages of chewing gum.
Strides Efforts To Improve Sales
In order to improve sales and attract more fans, Stride launched its 2.0 series of flavors to upgrade and improve its basic flavors.
It also produced Stride Spark, which it marketed as containing supplements like Vitamins B6 and B12 to entice the health-conscious crowd.
As the company realized that demand for gum was decreasing in the United States, it turned to other countries in the hopes that sales would increase.
This tactic worked for a while, especially after Stride expanded into China in 2012 where smoking was more prevalent than in the United States.
In fact, the highest rate of smokers can be found in the continent of Asia.
However, their efforts to increase and sustain sales didn’t last and the gum line has since stopped production.
Stride was still producing some flavors of their gum as recently as 2019, which we can see by their response to this Twitter user asking where he could find the sour flavors.
@stridegum we can’t get all the sour fruit flavors in LA. This addict needs help.
— RK (@logicuity) December 28, 2019
In response to another Twitter fan in 2019, Stride confirmed that the gum was still available nationwide.
We're still available nationally. If there are no stores near you that carry it, ask your local store manager to order some for you. Or you can try an online retailer like Amazon. We don't want you to be without your favorite gum.
— STRIDE gum (@stridegum) September 1, 2019
The company encouraged the Twitter user to talk with the manager of their local stores and encourage the store to purchase and stock Stride.
The response could be interpreted as Stride placing the blame on individual stores for the lack of product, rather than any production challenges that may have been occurring at the time.
It wasn’t until 2021 that Stride Gum’s official Facebook page confirmed in a comment that the gum is not available at this time and has been discontinued.
Kraft Foods launched Stride Gum in 2006.
In 2012, the company announced that it planned to change its corporate name from Kraft Foods Inc. to Mondelez International, Inc.
The company was divided into two separate public companies, with the North American grocery company becoming Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and the global snacks business becoming Mondelez International, Inc.
Mondelez International also confirmed with a representative from CNN that it is planning to discontinue and sell all of its gum brands, like Dentyne and Trident, in North America and parts of Europe.
In countries where Stride is more lucrative, the company plans to continue production of the gum unless sales continue to decrease as they have in North America.
The decision to reduce the gum business was made after the company had conducted a thorough review of its gum brands and looked at sales progress and goals.
Their portfolio of gum brands is not the only area undergoing review, the company also told the representative from CNN that it plans to divest its Halls cough drops line as well.
Mondelez International’s website does not specify any information on Stride, including whether or not it is available for purchase.
There also does not appear to be an official statement from Mondelez International regarding Stride’s discontinuation.
As we’ve already mentioned, though, the company has confirmed the discontinuation of the line through its social media channels.
A potential area of confusion for fans is that Snack Works, operated by Mondelez International, has “Stride Melopeach Gum 14 count” listed on its products page.
However, upon searching Snack Works for retailers that sell the flavor, it appears that there are no sellers for the product.
It is likely that the website has not been updated or that the flavor may still have limited products available from certain retailers.
It appears that Mondelez International hoped that reducing its gum and cough drop lines would provide it with increased capabilities to produce and distribute its lines of chocolates and baked goods.
These lines include Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Toblerone, and Cadbury.
Is Chewing Gum Healthy?
As mentioned previously, one of the reasons for the decline in gum sales nationwide may be due to the increased media regarding the side effects of regularly chewing gum.
Many brands of gum contain added sugar, which when consistently chewed throughout the day, can lead to a higher chance of enamel demineralization, cavities, and eventual tooth decay.
These potential effects of chewing gum depend on the consistency of the gum, the amount of time spent chewing, and even the frequency that it is chewed.
The American Dental Association (ADA) does state that chewing sugarless gum, when paired with a consistent oral care routine, can potentially decrease the risk of cavities.
This is because of the consistent salivary flow associated with chewing gum which aids in washing away bacteria.
It is important to be aware that sugar-free gum also contains high-intensity sweeteners and sugar alcohols.
Stride gum was one of these brands that were advertised as being sugar-free and contained the sweetener xylitol.
The sweeteners included may indeed have fewer calories than sugar.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that the aspartame and sugar alcohols found in these gums have more than 2% of the calories found in the same amount of sugar.
Additionally, the additives found in sugar-free gum can have a laxative effect on the body, causing digestive problems and diarrhea, especially among individuals who already have Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Chewing gum frequently, over a number of years, can also cause problems with normal jaw movement and induce pain when chewing.
A 2015 study found on the National Library of Medicine’s website, looked at the potential effects of gum on triggering headaches and migraines in patients.
It stated that more research is needed on the topic and the researchers did not yet feel comfortable advising individuals with chronic headaches to limit chewing gum.
However, if you are an individual who struggles with chronic headaches and regularly chews gum it may be worth your own trial-and-error investigation into whether the two could possibly be linked.
Another study found that chewing gum caused an increase in blood pressure in study subjects.
Artificial Sweeteners And Animals
It is also important to note that sweeteners such as xylitol do not have potential health risks only in humans.
According to MedVet Chicago, dog owners should be aware that Xylitol in particular is highly toxic to dogs, and can even lead to death.
The negative side effects of Xylitol in dogs can begin to be displayed as early as 15 minutes after consuming sugar-free candy, gum, baked goods, peanut butter, or other products containing this artificial sweetener.
Symptoms of Xylitol poisoning include a severe drop in blood sugar, lethargy, loss of coordination, and vomiting.
This leads to internal hemorrhaging, liver failure, and potentially, death.
It’s important to make sure your gum is stored away safely and out of reach of any interested pets.
The Trendiness Of Gum
Perhaps the largest factor at play in decreasing gum sales is that gum in recent years has been declining in trendiness.
If you were born pre-1990, it was common in movies for the popular kids in high school to chew gum, usually obnoxiously and loudly.
In recent years, this is less of an occurrence in television shows and movies.
Another reason for the decline in gum chewers is that smoking has become much less common.
Previously, smoking was considered fashionable and was used by women as a hunger suppressor.
Smokers frequently chewed gum to freshen their breath after smoking.
As it has become more commonly known that smoking is not healthy, there are fewer smokers and, therefore, fewer individuals buying gum.
Another potential reason for the decline in gum use is due, in part, to the Coronavirus pandemic.
As individuals have been staying at home more frequently, online grocery shopping for delivery or pick-up has also increased in frequency.
Gum tends to be a spontaneous choice when checking out at the grocery store, and with fewer customers visiting grocery stores in person, fewer spontaneous purchases are occurring.
Where Can I Purchase Stride Gum?
At the time of this article, Amazon is selling a 14-pack of the Mint flavor, with a note that they are out of stock in the Spearmint.
eBay also has several sellers who are selling the gum, although buyers should be wary of purchasing from a third-party seller that may be selling expired gum at an inflated price.
Additionally, some miscellaneous retailers may still have some of the gum in stock from their last bulk order before the discontinuation of Stride.
A Unique Array Of Flavors
Stride was known for its wide variety of unique flavors that targeted the younger generation during its quest to maintain and increase sales.
Some flavors offered include Forever Fruit, Sweet Berry, Winterblue, Spearmint, Sweet Peppermint, Always Mandarin, Eternal Melon, Mintacular, Sour Patch, Tropical Trance, Whitemint, Fearless Fruit, and Stride IQ.
The company was also among the first to introduce gum that shifted flavors while chewing it.
These flavors were Berry to Mint and Citrus to Minty.
The 2.0 series was introduced as an upgrade to current flavors. These included Forever Fruit 2.0, Nonstop Mint 2.0, Spearmint 2.0, Sweet Berry 2.0, Sweet Cinnamon 2.0, Sweet Peppermint 2.0, Uber Bubble 2.0, and Winterblue 2.0.
Sweet Peppermint, Spearmint, and Shaun White Stride flavors were among the favorites among Twitter users.
There is one recurring question found on Twitter that has yet to be confirmed by Stride or Mondelez International: “What was the mystery flavor of Stride gum?”
Twitter users had many different unique guesses, including grapefruit and watermelon. One user even guessed it was Vick’s VapoRub.
This may be one mystery that will remain unsolved.NEXT: Why Do I Miss Him So Much? (10 Reasons)