The Untold Truth Of Bubble Tape

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What kind of Bubble Tape chewer were you? Some of us always went for the longest piece possible to try and get the biggest bubble, while others took small pieces in order to make it last (and you could really make it last!). Then, of course, there are those who open the container and take a big bite out of the entire roll like some kind of anarchist. 

Bubble Tape was introduced and trademarked in the late 1980's (via the Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office) and became a hugely popular product amongst kids in the early 90's. Whether or not you thought it tasted implicitly better than bubble gum that wasn't in tape form, if you chewed it you definitely have strong memories of the hockey puck packaging and tearing off strips of gum for you and your friends. Chances are, though, that you haven't had it in years. So, why was Bubble Tape such a memorable product, and why isn't it as popular today? 

How Bubble Tape became so popular

The initial popularity of Bubble Tape was, at least in part, due to the company's slightly edgy marketing strategy aimed at pre-teens. Commercials featured adults like your principal and your aunt Edna who wears too much lipstick berating Bubble Tape in front of a very late-80's early-90's background and ended with the slogan "it's six feet of bubble gum – for you, not them" (them being the lame adults who don't like Bubble Tape). Some of these ads can still be found on YouTube, and are pretty hilarious. One of the '90s teens who was struck by the commercials was William Lutz, who told Racket Magazine, "They were humorous. I enjoyed them very much." Lutz also told his friends about Bubble Tape, and they told their friends.

Part of the genius of Bubble Tape phenomenon was the freedom that came from its unique product format and packaging. The iconic pink clamshell case with its tape-like dispenser allowed the consumer to dictate the size of the piece they wanted to chew, which is objectively more fun than unwrapping a piece or two of pre-portioned gum. Sadly, it wasn't to last.

What happened to Bubble Tape

You may have stopped paying attention to Bubble Tape in the 90's, but Mars Wrigley. the corporation that owns Hubba Bubba (along with Extra, Juicy Fruit, Eclipse, and most of the well-known candy bars) hasn't. While there is no brand site specifically for Hubba Bubba and the marketing has been minimal in recent years, Wrigley did capitalize on the popularity of the Bubble Tape product by expanding the line to include longer rolls of up to 10 feet (via the Spectator) and a range of flavors from tangy tropical to sour blue raspberry (via Lolcandy).

Today, you can still find Bubble Tape, though it's far less pervasive than it once was, under the name Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape. The packaging for the original flavor is still bubblegum pink and still features the tagline "6 feet of fun!" though the shape of the packaging has been updated. If you're having trouble finding it, that may be because the popularity has waned so much in recent years, likely as a result of progress in the field or oral hygiene. According to the ADA, there are both positives and negatives to chewing gum, but chewing gum with sugar (like Bubble Tape) can cause the enamel of your teeth to decay. However, you can still find it at most specialty candy suppliers and online (via Amazon). And, for even more foods you may have forgotten about, check out once-popular foods that we all stopped eating