By the beginning of the 1900s, Thomas Adams had already made quite the name for himself in the chewing gum industry. His first big success, Black Jack gum, had skyrocketed in popularity in 1884 as the first flavored variety of chewing gum, and the Adams Sons & Company had been gaining followers and loyal gum-chewers ever since.
Thomas Adams introduced many popular flavors following the rise of Black Jack, including Tutti-Frutti and Sour Orange, but none of them achieved the same iconic status as Clove did following its release in 1914. Clove has made an interesting and historic journey from then to now, all wrapped inside its timeless red packaging and unmistakable spice flavor.
Clove received its first serious boost in popularity when U.S. Prohibition kicked off in the 1920s. With the formation of whiskey clubs and speakeasies, the more adventurous American citizens were often searching for a treat to freshen their breath and disguise their nightcap as they walked home for the evening. So, part of Clove’s celebrity status comes from its distinctive smell, which became part of a massive subculture. In fact, advertising for Clove even promised it would “take your breath away!”
Clove was the first spice-flavored gum to be wrapped inside the red packaging that is now iconic to the industry. Its packaging design began with orange accents surrounding the red, which lasted through its appearance as a refreshing treat in WWII field kits in the 1940s. Slowly, the design replaced any orange with various shades of red, forming the quintessential image of “spice gum” that lasted into the 21st century!
Since it was crafted and produced by Adams Sons & Company, Clove gum became one of many chewing gums being sold under the umbrella of the new American Chicle Company, which included Thomas Adams and several other successful entrepreneurs. Founded by Edward Beemans of Beemans gum fame, this collection of chewing gum producers would shape the entire future of flavored gum in America!