All About Retro Bubble Gum

Posted by The Candy Man on

Retro bubble gum

Chewing gum, as we know and love it today, was first invented in the early 20th century. What began as a relatively strong, lightly flavored texture has since become the firm, bubble-blowing, flavor-packed delicious treat that keeps us coming back for more. But how did bubble gum get to where it is today, what makes it so special, and what are some of the best retro bubble gum brands still on the market? We answer all below!

A Brief History of Bubble Gum

Bubble gum may be a 20th-century invention, but chewing gum has existed for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks, Mayans, and North American native peoples chewed different kinds of gum made from tree sap. While we don’t know what flavorings they added to this early iteration of gum if any at all (we hope so!)

So, when did bubble gum start taking its modern shape?

Who Invented Bubble Gum?

Bubble gum was first invented by the American businessman and candy maker Frank H. Fleer in 1906. Interestingly, like with many candy inventions, it was a mistake. Fleer managed to create a gummy, stretchy textured formula during his lab breaks. 

The gum was named “Blibbler-Blubber.” Given the name, it comes as no surprise that even during this early stage, bubble gum could be blown up into bubbles! However, the mixture was still too brittle and sticky to be sold.

So, it wasn’t until 22 years later that an American account created a form of bubble gum that could be sold that was edible, palatable, and marketable. Walter Diemer, at the young age of 23 years old, was working in the Fleer Chewing Gum company in Philadelphia. Diemer was not a chemist, but he still managed to improve upon the formula, calling the finished product Dubble Bubble.

So, if you were going to ask …

What is the oldest bubble gum brand?

There’s your answer! It’s Dubble Bubble made by the Fleer Chewing Gum Company.

From the get-go, things looked promising for retro bubble gum. Finally put into production in 1928, Diemer wrapped 100 pieces of Dubble Bubble and put it to the test at the local candy store. The shop sold out on the first day – the rest is history.


Why Did it Stick?

Bubble gum is generally less sticky and a little more stretchy than regular chewing gum. The difference in the formula was more pronounced in the early days than it is now, making this new “Blibber Blubber” invention all the more attractive and exciting. 

Why Does Bubble Gum Taste so Good?

In taste tests, children tend to prefer strawberry and blue raspberry flavors, rejecting more complex flavors as they say these make them want to swallow the gum rather than continue chewing.


Bubble gum got its distinctive pink color because the original recipe Diemer worked on produced a dingy gray colored gum, so he added red dye (diluted to pink) as that was the only dye he had on hand at the time. Since then, pink has been the most popular bubble gum color.

Why is Retro Bubble Gum so Popular?

A History of Trendy Rebellion

Bubble gum has always been associated with the fun, the new, and the slightly countercultural. There’s a young vibe to bubble gum that was most noticeable in the 70s and 80s that remains to this day. 


However, the general trend towards a youthful appeal began by the end of the 50s when flavored gum was already attracting a younger and younger crowd. Bubble gum became popular with kids and pre-teens and played a large role in many trends of the time and over the years. 

This image of “hip and cool” is one that bubble gum cannot shake, and it’s not trying to either. 

Vintage Appeal

In fact, retro bubble gum feeds right into the vintage or old-school trend that’s huge in not only the candy industry but across most industries at the moment. To just carry around old-school-cool bubble gum these days instantly adds to someone’s street cred or just enhances their vintage outfit.

Cool Design

There’s no denying that retro bubble gum is a staple product of all modern-day candy stores, whether they’re of the vintage or contemporary variety. Why? Well, they add that certain funky yet cool touch that no other candy product can quite reach or achieve.

Timeless Taste

There’s a certain old-school flavor profile to retro bubble gum that’s largely missing from today’s chewing gum alternatives. It’s a less potent flavor with subtle hints that tastes like nostalgia. More simple and fresh ingredients tend to be used in their manufacturing as well. Most of the formulas have been left alone over the years, only being changed to suit health and safety guidelines, meaning you’re chewing on a little bit of confectionary history when you chew on retro bubble gum.  

What are the Best Retro bubble Gum Brands?

Fruit Stripe Bubble Gum

Fruit Stripe Bubble Gum is unmistakable retro-cool. Its funky multi-colored, zebra-striped packaging is a feast for the eyes. It looks like a vivid explosion, bringing light and delight to candy aisles and candy store shelves. Within each colorfully wrapped package is a fun, bright alternative to mint chewing gums that are one of five flavors: melon, cherry, lemon, orange, and peach.

Big League Chew Bubble Gum

Created by an actual American pro baseball player in 1980, Big League Bubble Gum has hit it big with more than 800 million of its iconic pouches have been sold worldwide. Inside every baseball-themed pack is a world of sweet bubble gum strings that can be enjoyed one by one or all at once!

Bazooka Bubble Gum

Introduced in 1947, Bazooka Bubble Gum is entirely vintage in its red, white, and blue colored packaging that is undeniably retro. It’s the ultimate iconic American chewing gum that is nostalgic and sweet, making it the perfect bubble gum treat.

Razzles Candy 

Razzles look like little puck-shaped pieces of candy – which they are! However, that’s not all they are. Once the sweet fruity piece is chewed, they turn into chewable gum! 

El Bubble Gum 

First of all, El Bubble Gum wins when it comes to delightful and appealing visuals. When its striking pastel colors are showcased on shelves in their retro display box, they evoke curiosity and wonder.


Upon closer inspection, you’ll realize each bubble gum piece is cigar-shaped! Only once you tear open the package and start to chew you’ll be treated to one of 6 mouth-watering flavors: orange, grape, strawberry, banana, apple, or fruit blend!



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