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Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum Flavors, Ranked

Hubba Bubba bubble gum
Hubba Bubba bubble gum - Steven Luna/Mashed

Hubba Bubba has been a mainstay on the bubble gum scene for decades, providing nonstick bubble-blowing enjoyment for generations of cheerful chewers. From the Gen X classic original TV advertisement showing cowboys in a bubble-blowing shootout to the current commercials touting the tape version, the bubble gum giant has demonstrated extraordinary lasting power as a beloved retro candy brand. Along the way, the Bub has toyed with flavors that brought contemporary tastes to gum lovers, experimenting with trendy sour options and doubling up with flavor-within-a-flavor formulas that bring two bold tastes together in a single pack. Hubba Bubba even turned itself into new shapes, introducing gum in tape form for a modern reinvention that made chewing exciting again.

How does the current flavor selection stand up when sampled side by side? Does altering the shape impact the taste, and if so, which form makes for a more enjoyable chew? I gathered up a pocketful of the gum that took its name from old-timey slang to see how Hubba Bubba packs do in a head-to-head showdown. With the introduction of Skittle-flavored Hubba Bubba, I seized on a fresh opportunity to rechew what has become a classic for gum lovers and remind myself what the Hubba Bubba hubbub is all about.

Read more: The Most Unique Chip Flavors Ever To Grace Store Shelves

6. Sour Blue Raspberry Chunk

Hubba Bubba Sour Blue raspberry
Hubba Bubba Sour Blue raspberry - Steven Luna/Mashed

The fun spark of Sour Blue Raspberry Chunk Hubba Bubba provides undeniable gum-chewing appeal. The cubic shape gives your teeth something solid to bite into, activating a tangy tingle strong enough to make your eyes twitch as you chew, similar to super-sour crybaby gumballs. Fortunately, there's no sugary crust on this gum to overwhelm the sour spots on your tongue; unfortunately, after about a minute or so of righteous chewing, the flavor all but disappears and the texture becomes tough and begins to tire your jaw. Basic bubble-blowing will tell you that chewability equals better bubbles. This form of Hubba Bubba is so stingy with its elasticity, it's difficult to get bubbles even half the size of other versions.

Peeling back the wrapper to find such a shockingly blue bit of gum made us hopeful that defying the traditional pink bubble gum color also meant bucking the system whereby inferior bubble gum requires novelty flavors and eye-catching hues to compensate. Sadly, Sour Blue Raspberry Hubba Bubba left a bad taste in my mouth and a sore ache in my jaw, making this my lowest-rated pick.

5. Sour Blue Raspberry Bubble Tape

Sour Blue Raspberry tape
Sour Blue Raspberry tape - Steven Luna/Mashed

A subtler take on the same flavor in chunk form, Sour Blue Raspberry Bubble Tape has the advantage of offering a softer chew with a slightly paler imagining of the vibrant flavor. The result provides a fun tartness with a familiar blue raspberry flavor beneath and a more tender texture that lets your jaw relax while chewing, encouraging looser bubbles. But -- like Fruit Stripe Gum did for decades before it was discontinued entirely -- Bubble Tape releases all of its flavors within 30 seconds of chewing. What's left behind is a sort of plastic essence that lingers awhile, even as the softness of the tape toughens.

Though the flavor may wane almost immediately, the bubble blowing is phenomenal well into chewing a piece. For bubble blowers who mindlessly keep their gum for the sake of snapping and creating mind-boggling bubbles, there's a great deal of enjoyment left after the blueberry loses its buzz (it kept us from becoming too blue during our test). It's enough to push this tape shape higher than its corresponding chunk form, but only by a single spot.

4. Awesome Original Bubble Tape

Awesome Original Hubba Bubba tape
Awesome Original Hubba Bubba tape - Steven Luna/Mashed

Introduced in the early 1990s, Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape gave gum lovers a shape they knew well with a fun twist: a seemingly endless coil of strip-like bubble gum rolled up in a case like a tape measure. Awesome Original Bubble Tape was one of the first offerings, an inventive stroke. Decades later, Bubble Tape is a staple sweet, with a taste that still hearkens back to the best of bubble gum. There's an excitement to cracking open the puck and dragging out a strip as long as you choose, with no social restrictions about chewing more than one piece. I relived the sensation as I conducted this test and was reminded of my younger days, when the temptation to unspool the whole roll was sometimes too great to resist. It took some restraint, but I was able to limit my portion to a single serving.

How does the present experience live up to the one I remembered? Pretty well overall, if not entirely spot-on. Though the flavor in Awesome Original Hubba Bubba Tape is familiar, it doesn't hold the phenomenal freshness of the same flavor in block form. The texture is soft but it's dry, perhaps due in part to the powdered coating that prevents the tape from sticking to itself while in the roll. Think of this one as Hubba Bubba at half-Bub, a mid-level chew that's still worth unrolling, but only if you can't sink your teeth into the better wedge version.

3. Awesome Original Chunk

Awesome Original Hubba Bubba chunk
Awesome Original Hubba Bubba chunk - Steven Luna/Mashed

This one is the classic Hubba Bubba, the one that started it all and brought the cubed gum into direct competition with Bubble Yum, its popular predecessor. Unwrapping Awesome Original Chunk is like tearing into a nostalgic gift, a package filled with youthful excitement for a bubble gum that wasn't flat like Trident or round like gumballs from a machine. The same feeling arose when I peeled a piece and popped it in my mouth for this taste test. Something about the original Hubba Bubba creates an undeniable link to childhood for anyone who remembers the excitement of finally having decent-sized pieces they could carry in their pockets. The whimsical reminiscence was a fun surprise.

Anyone who loves vintage bubble gum flavor will easily fall for the chewable charms of Hubba Bubba in its prime state, even if they've chewed it a thousand times before. These chunks are supremely soft and bursting with an old-fashioned taste that's unlike any flavor in nature. It's also great bubble-blowing, with no stickiness, just as the innovative brand promised when it arrived on the market. Surprisingly, it was the familiarity that made it seem a little yawn-worthy after a while, though I kept chewing and blowing to see how big the bubbles could get without sticking to my eyebrows. For the sweet memories, Awesome Original Chunk fits squarely in third place.

2. Strawberry Watermelon Chunk

Strawberry Watermelon Hubba Bubba chunk
Strawberry Watermelon Hubba Bubba chunk - Steven Luna/Mashed

A duo of bright bubble gum tastes come together for a flavor-packed hug with Strawberry Watermelon Chunk Hubba Bubba, and the result is one of the more subtle in the collection. The fun visual of a pink center wrapped in green mimics the flesh and rind of watermelon, though the real fruit never comes with a burst of strawberry when you bite into it. Fortunately, Hubba Bubba gives chewers both, an exciting back-and-forth that provides a different blend with each bite. It's like tossing two different pieces in your yaw to make your own bubble gum cocktail.

Folding two flavors in one is an inspired move that other gum and candy brands have pulled off in the past. Somehow, Strawberry Watermelon Chunk Hubba Bubba is able to hold onto its flavor longer than the other traditional flavors. Combined with the lasting softness and expansive bubble-blowing stretchiness, this version of the Bubba bubbler is very close to being my top pick. As well as this gum performs, its slight lack of novelty keeps it in the second spot on the list.

1. Skittle-Flavored Mini Gum

Skittles Hubba Bubba mini gum
Skittles Hubba Bubba mini gum - Steven Luna/Mashed

How does Hubba Bubba make gum feel cool in your mouth? Most likely it's the erythritol in the recipe, one of three artificial sweeteners included in Skittles-flavored Hubba Bubba Mini Gum It's a strangely enticing sensation, as is the crispy Skittle-like shell. The flavors are spot-on, capturing the juicy-tangy essence of the original candy. The shaker pack provides a generous number of servings in pellet form, larger than real Skittles and slightly different in shape, but every bit as flavorful. Two nuggets are enough to stand in for a full-sized Hubba Bubba chunk, which means you can make a purchase last as long as your willpower holds out.

The resulting taste, texture, and chewability are a sheer delight! All the bright, sassy flavors of real Skittles are present, and the novel pellet shape with crunchy shells is a perfect hybrid between the two products, if a wild departure from other Hubba Bubba products. Even shaking pieces out of the maraca-like plastic case is enough to inspire a bit of happiness rattling around in your hand before the real fun hits your teeth and tongue. For such a fully enjoyable experience all around, we're calling this the best Hubba Bubba yet.

How We Created Our Ranking

Hubba Bubba bubble gum packs
Hubba Bubba bubble gum packs - Steven Luna/Mashed

Ranking the flavors of Hubba Bubba may seem pretty straightforward, but the more I chewed, the more challenging I found it to stratify the flavors. Each one has its own qualities that combine with shape and texture that, aside from distinct labeling and packaging by Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, create a distinctive experience for the chewer. When I took each pack on its own merits like this, I was able to delineate what made some flavors better than others. Flavors that lasted longer ranked higher, as did forms that encouraged extended chewing and better bubble-blowing. Who knew there was so much to categorizing Hubba Bubba? Lesson learned.

Read the original article on Mashed.