What is Clove Gum?

Mary McMahon

Clove gum is a type of chewing gum that is flavored with cloves. The distinctive flavor has made it a coveted item, and since only one manufacturer produces the original version, it can sometimes be difficult to find. Fans are often good at tracking down new suppliers, and when the flavor is released on the market, sharp-eyed aficionados tend to snap it up quickly.

Clove gum.
Clove gum.

This type of gum has been manufactured since 1914 by the Thomas Adams Company. Commercial production of gum dates only to the mid-1800s, so clove gum is one of the oldest continuously sold flavored gums on the market. It was especially popular in the Prohibition era, when people believed that they could cover up the scent of alcohol on their breath by chewing it. The Adams Company has since been acquired by candy giant Cadbury, and it is known as Cadbury Adams today.

Chewing gum with certain artificial sweeteners has been shown to reduce plaque and cavities.
Chewing gum with certain artificial sweeteners has been shown to reduce plaque and cavities.

Many people view clove gum as nostalgic or old-fashioned because it has been in continuous production for so long, and it is closely associated with the 1920s. Cadbury Adams continues to use the same packaging it used in 1914 to capitalize on the nostalgia factor, and the formula has remained essentially the same as well. Cadbury Adams also manufactures Black Jack® gum, another famous vintage gum brand that is aniseed flavored.

Cloves, which are used to flavor clove gum.
Cloves, which are used to flavor clove gum.

Because most people only accept Adams Clove Gum as the original, they are limited by availability from the company. This flavor is only manufactured every few years, and while it is produced in large batches, candy and gum sellers typically run out at a certain point. Fans would be well-advised to stock up when they find it on the market and to take advantage of the many nostalgic candy suppliers on the Internet to keep track of supplies when it is available.

In addition to Clove and Black Jack® gum, Cadbury Adams makes Beemans® gum, which has a minty flavor, in limited amounts as well. Beemans® was invented by a physician from Ohio in the late 1800s. While production was briefly halted due to a decline in interest, the gum was rolled back onto the market in 1985 to popular acclaim when it was marketed as part of a nostalgia campaign. The scarcity of all three brands of gum undoubtedly adds to the allure.

Clove gum can be extremely difficult to find.
Clove gum can be extremely difficult to find.

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Discussion Comments


Glee's "cinnamon" flavor is pretty much clove.


They sell clove gum at all Cracker Barrel locations.


I happened into a store the other day and they had a box of Clove chewing gum with 13 packs left. I bought them all.


healthy taste with a hint of Grandma's kitchen aromas.


why was clove gum popular among the teens during the 50's and 60's?

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