Trident wrappers are not meant for human consumption, contrary to the recent spate of viral claims

The brand has denied the rumor that the gums should be eaten with the paper, which has become a viral trend on TikTok

In the past few days social media has exploded with claims saying that Trident gum wrappers are edible and meant to be chewed along with the gum itself. Several videos with users trying to chew the gum with its protective paper have racked up over a million views on TikTok and YouTube, and some online platforms have echoed the trend.

In reality, however, the brand Mondelēz International – the company that sells Trident gum – has explained to Verificat that the wrapper is not meant for human consumption. What’s more, the brand has neither not published anything recently to affirm that, nor has that supposed fact been printed on Trident packets.

The wrapper is not meant to be chewed

Trident has not stated on any platform recently – not on their website, TikTok channels, Instagram or Twitter accounts, or on the gum packets themselves – that the wrappers of their candies are edible, or that they are meant for human consumption. Esther Patino, Communications and Government Affairs Manager Iberia of Mondelēz International, the company that manages the gum brand, refuted the claim in an email to Verificat, writing that the protective wrapper “is not meant for human consumption, but to preserve the freshness the gum is known for”. She mentions Brazil, Mexico and Colombia as the countries where the TikTok trend, which started in early February, has caught on most.

Patino reminds us that, in any case, “the wrapper of Trident gum is food grade [i.e. the material it is made of does not migrate into, contaminate or stain the food] and, therefore, not a toxic material”, but she did not specify the components of the wrapper. Materials that come into contact with foods must comply with a European regulation that guarantees that they do not pose any hazard to the consumer’s health or damage the composition, scent or taste of the product. However, the regulation does not indicate that the wrappers have to be edible. In fact, they are not always edible, such as in the case of potato chips or boxes of chocolate.

In 1994, the United States did indeed issue a patent for edible wrappers made of a “material that could be chewed and ingested by the consumer”. But the fact that the patent exists does not mean that brands use this type of wrapper.

An old rumour

The idea that gum is meant to be chewed along with its packaging is not new. The rumour was shared on an internet forum in 2000 regarding the now defunct British candy brand Cinnaburst. According to a Wikipedia entry from 2008, the same rumour went around about Stride gum, but the website Candy Addict refuted the claim after they contacted the company that sold the gum.