Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gum's The Word Sugar Free Gum

Okay, I'll admit it, I was fooled. This looks like a Trader Joe's product, is packaged like a Trader Joe's product, and has the classic value of a Trader Joe's product (24 pieces for 99 cents? Nice!). Indeed, the only place I have ever seen this sold is at a Trader Joe's, right by the checkout, in fact. However, Gum's The Word is not labelled as a Trader Joe's product, so....I'm guessing it's not really a Trader Joe's product. Fortunately there's a precedent or two...or three...for these kinda situations on the blog, and since a) these are sold at Trader Joe's b) I can chew enough gum to give Violet Beauregarde a run for her money and c) I didn't notice this wasn't a TJ's product 'til literally about 30 seconds ago, well, I'm reviewing it and you can't do anything about it. Them's the rules.

And, well, I'm kinda glad it isn't a TJ's product, because it isn't all that great. The chief issues with the chewy chomping Chiclet wannabes is, they start off so incredibly minty that my sinuses would be cleared (which I kinda like) but within literally two minutes there's no flavor left at all (which I don't like at all). Seriously, goes from actually too much peppermint to none at all in no time flat with no happy medium. It's kinda like a sprinter who exerts too much effort from the start line to save anything for the finish line. There's another colloquialism or two I could use, but this is a family website. At least it's about the right consistency that would incline me to keep chewing if any it had more flavor that lasted any respectable amount of time. Other than that and the aforementioned value, meh. There's also a spearmint incarnation, which I doubt I'd like much better, as peppermint is usually higher up in the flavor hierarchy for me.

Sandy isn't as generally gung ho about gum as I am. She chews it occasionally on road trips but that's about it. "Meh, it's gum, and that's about it," she said. Yeah, at the end of the day, that's pretty much all that can be said. It's gum at a good price, with a cool package design and a name that tangentially reminds me of one of the most annoying Family Guy episodes ever. That doesn't mean it tastes great.

Bottom line: Gum's The Word Sugar Free Gum: 5 out of 10 Golden Spoons
Hey you, don't forget to help support me in my Bike MS event for a chance to toss in your two cents on our blog! Every $5 you give puts one entry in a drawing for you to nominate something for me to review, and if you drop me a few lines about it, I'll get it included in my review! Contest ends on 9/22 with the winner being announced on Facebook on 9/24. To give, hit up this link and click on "Donate to Participant" under the thermometer-type thing. Thanks, and here's to world free of multiple sclerosis!


  1. I tried this for the first time last night.. I was absolutely horrified with the extreme menthol like flavor, it was like I applied Tiger Balm to the inside of my mouth. Gross.

  2. Hey TJ's Fans- me too! :)
    This gum is out for me and most people though, because it contains Aspartame (Nutrasweet/Equal) and is definitely not a healthy or natural sweetener. Many people are allergic to toxic chemicals of this sort- symptoms from headaches to cancer and everything in between. Of course, this is not a TJ's label item. TJ's label is free from any artificial ingredients of any kind. I prefer Spry and wish TJ's would sell it under their label!

    On another note: have you tried the new Multigrain and Vegetable entree in the frozen section? Check it out! :)