I never questioned what a ridiculous name this bubble gum brand had at the time; I was too busy trying to perfect my bubble blowing technique. You remember doing that, don’t you? The aim was to impress by looking cool as you blew an enormous pink balloon shape, before managing to inhale it back into your mouth in one go. I had the ‘blowing a big bubble’ bit down fine, I just used to spend a lot of time peeling bits of it off of my face and cutting bits out of my hair once it had burst and splatted all over me. Hubba Bubba was marketed as being much better in this regard than other, inferior brands of bubble gum in that it was a lot less sticky and would, therefore, come off your skin much more easily. This gave rise to one of the advertising slogans ‘Big bubbles, no troubles’.
Hubba Bubba originated in the U.S. in 1979, made by Wrigleys, a subsidiary of Mars Inc. Going back to its silly name; it came from the military catchphrase ‘hubba hubba’ that was used to convey appreciation of something (and was later beloved of many overtly sexist sitcoms when a male character saw a particularly attractive woman). In the 1980s they took a break from producing it over there, coming back to it in 2004.
The original flavour was hard to pin down (although after a few minutes of concentrated chewing what flavour there was faded anyway, leaving you with a mouthful of what tasted a bit like Blu-Tac) and was discontinued for a long time in the UK; but you could buy Apple, Strawberry and Cola instead. Now, however, Original is back and you can buy it alongside Seriously Strawberry and Atomic Apple in the packs of five ‘chunkier and bubblier chunks’. You can also purchase Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape in Snappy Strawberry - 180cm of chewy fun!
The U.S. and Australia are obviously a little more adventurous in their bubble gum tastes: in Australia you can sample flavours such as cherry, peach, lime, pineapple, orange and orange. In the U.S. they have Hawaiian Punch and Strawberry and Watermelon alongside Hubba Bubba Max (which has two flavours and colours and a longer lasting flavour). Over the years our American friends have also had the chance to try Sour Gummi Tape, the completely unappetising sounding Hubba Bubba Glop (a ‘candy-coated, liquid filled bubble gum that explodes with flavors and comes in a unique pop-top tube’, mmmmm…..), the Sweet & Sassy Cherry flavour, Hubba Bubba Ouch (a sugar-free stick of bubble gum that came in packaging resembling a bandage), Mystery Max and Mystery Tape (you have to guess what the ‘unique’ flavour is) as well as Dr. Pepper, Orange Crush and Root Beer flavours.
At this juncture I do feel that I should warn you that you should be slightly careful when buying Hubba Bubba online: if you’re not looking carefully you may easily make the slip from spending 40 pence on a 5 chunk pack to accidentally spending £995 on an Anya Hindmarch ‘Hubba Bubba Imperial Clutch’ bag. Just something to be aware of there. .
As another slogan goes: It’s funbelievabubble!