You can’t say it tastes bad…

Late last year, major convenience store chain Lawson had an unexpected hit on their hands with No Taste? Candy (Ajinoshinai? Ame). As the name implies, this is a hard candy with a barely detectable taste for those who want the anxiety-soothing and throat-moistening properties of candy without all the sweetness.

It started as a test product but quickly became a permanent fixture on Lawson’s candy rack, thanks in part to a strong presence on social media in Japan. At that time, there were also many who called for a chewing gum version.

▼ No Taste? Candy

Lawson passed the request on to Lotte, who responded by beginning development of a tasteless chewing gum for people to enjoy over a long time to help focus while working or studying. However, such a gum would be completely different from any Lotte had produced before, and it took six months for No Taste? Gum (Ajinoshina? Gum) to be created before it was finally released on 7 November.

I decided to go and grab a bag for 148 yen (US$0.98) to see if it really tasted as non-existent as it claimed.

▼ Each bag has one of three famous statues, such as this version of David with a towel, perhaps to emphasize its longevity.

In addition to not tasting like anything, the concept of No Taste? Gum is to provide a long-chewing experience by also improving its texture. To achieve these qualities it uses maltodextrin, an additive commonly used to improve the mouthfeel of foods like potato chips and peanut butter. It also contains some gelatin for those with allergic or ethical concerns.

Upon opening the bag I was pleasantly greeted with a free prize inside!

It was a tiny pad of sticky notes. There was no mention of it on the package, so it really did come as a complete surprise… However, come to think of it, I’m just assuming this was intentional and not a foreign object that was accidentally left in there.

▼ Actually, these little pads are often included in bags or bottles of gum so you can rip off a paper to wrap your gum in when you’ve finished with it.

The pieces were rather small and similar to a hard-shelled mint-flavored gum in appearance. However, they had a softer surface with a slightly powdery feel like bubble gum often has.

Biting into a piece also felt like bubble gum and it had that floury initial texture. Sure enough, I couldn’t taste anything in particular. This was especially surprising since our No Taste? Candy reviewer said those had a very mild sweetness, like a very watered-down sports drink. No Taste? Gum, on the other hand, seemed to do away with even that.

That being said, it was nothing like that depressing industrial latex taste of gum that has lost its flavor. This gum had an interestingly refreshing tastelessness that was complemented with a silky texture that’s thicker than a lot of other gums.

Since it had a lot of the qualities of bubble gum, I tried pulling off a few bubbles. One piece was far too small to get anything going, but with four pieces in my mouth, things were improving.

As of this writing, I’ve been chewing No Taste? Gum for about two hours and I’ve only noticed a slight degradation in chewing satisfaction. Also, before trying it I was nursing a strong black coffee and the taste of it was wiped clean from my mouth after only a few minutes of chewing, so it seems to have a lot of potential as a palate cleanser too.

Personally, I’d use gum to help stay alert during long drives or late nights of work, and definitely think No Taste? Gum is great for these things by eliminating the disappointment of losing flavor and maintaining a nice texture for a long time.

From now on, whenever people call me “tasteless” I’m going to take it as a compliment.

Source:, Hachima Kiko
Photos ©SoraNews24
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