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This Beloved Grocery Staple Is Making a Comeback

More people have fresh breath now than a year ago!
FACT CHECKED BY Joseph Neese

Supermarkets aisles are stocked with healthy items destined to fill your freezer, fridge, and pantry. However, there's one grocery staple that shoppers are purchasing with increasing frequency—and it likely won't wind up anywhere in your kitchen.

You're not alone if you recently replaced an old pack of gum that had been collecting dust in your car or purse since the beginning of the pandemic. Gum sales were up more than 23% year over year as of May 1, per Bloomberg. Moreover, shoppers reportedly added about 15 million more packs of gum to their carts than they did in January.

Related: This Is the Best Supermarket in America, New Survey Says

Vaccinations were on the rise as spring began, and businesses including grocery stores and restaurants started to loosen pandemic-era restrictions. Americans seemingly desired fresh breath as they started to reenter society following more than a year of lockdowns. Gum sales were down 30% year over year in February, but by the end of May, they had swung up nearly 15%.

According to Bloomberg, gum sales aren't the only thing that's on the rise. The sticker price of this beloved grocery item is also up. At the beginning of 2021, Americans were paying an average of $2.05 for a pack of gum. By May, that figure had increased to $2.11.

Grocery gum
Shutterstock

The downward sales spiral impacted major manufacturers like Mondelez. Food Dive reported in June that the snack food company was conducting a "strategic review" of its gum brands, which include Dentyne, Trident, and Stride. "While Mondelez hasn't definitively decided what it will do after the review—it could ultimately decide to keep gum—a sale would be the most likely option given the position in its portfolio and the cash a sale could generate," senior reporter Christopher Doering wrote at the time.

If you're looking to buy a pack or two of gum during your next grocery run but don't want to pay a higher price, try one of these 22 Best and Worst Foods for Your Breath instead. To get all the latest grocery store news delivered right to your email inbox every day, sign up for our newsletter!

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That!. Read more