Mentos is a brand of prepackaged scotch mints sold in stores and vending machines. First produced in the Netherlands in 1948, it is currently sold in more than 130 countries worldwide by the Perfetti Van Melle corporation. The mints are small oblate spheroids, with a slightly hard exterior and a soft, chewy interior.
They are typically sold in rolls which contain 14 mint discs, although the "Sour Mix" variety contains only 11 discs per roll. Smaller versions also exist, typically containing 4 to 6 discs per roll. Certain flavors are sold in boxes in Australia, the United States, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and the United Kingdom, and the rolls are available in four packs. The current slogan of Mentos is "Stay Fresh", while the line previously used extensively in the 80s and 90s was "The Freshmaker". Most Mentos packages describe the mints as "chewy dragées." The typical Mentos roll is approximately 2 cm (0.79 in) in diameter and weighs 38 grams (1.3 oz).
"Mentos" is the singular form.
Mint flavored Mentos contain sugar, wheat glucose syrup, hydrogenated coconut oil, rice starch, natural flavors, gum arabic, sucrose esters of fatty acids, gellan gum, carnauba wax, and beeswax. Fruit-flavored Mentos contain sugar, wheat glucose syrup, hydrogenated coconut oil, citric acid, fruit juices from concentrate (strawberry, orange, lemon) (1%), rice starch, gum arabic, natural flavors, sucrose esters of fatty acids, gellan gum, carnauba wax, colors (beta-carotene, beetroot red), and beeswax.
Mentos are available in several flavors including mint, mixed fruit, cola, bubble gum, and in an assortment of orange, strawberry, and lemon. Mentos first appeared as a liquorice-flavored sweet which can still be purchased in the Netherlands as "Drop Mentos." New flavors were initially test-marketed in the Netherlands and throughout Europe; however, most of the flavors have been available worldwide recently.
Other flavors include green apple, cinnamon, strawberry, mixed fruit (which contains a mix of cherry, strawberry, orange, and lemon flavors), grape, wintergreen, grapefruit, peach, plum, spearmint, strawberry yogurt, lemon yogurt, pineapple (pine fresh), red apple, wild fruit mix, cherry, watermelon, pear, blackcurrant, red orange, currant and two versions of black licorice flavored Mentos. Two varieties of the mint flavor, known as "Mentos Strong" and "Air action Mentos" are sold in the Netherlands. Also available in the Netherlands is the Special Mix 4 pack, containing the flavors mint, fruit, berry mix and mango orange. Two varieties of the mint flavor are also sold in China, known as "Mint" and "Strong Mint." Grape and 'N Cream (presumably Apples and Cream), Strawberry 'N Cream, and Banana 'N Cream are also marketed in Asia. Chocolate Mentos were produced in 1989, but the flavor was discontinued. In 2006, the citrus mango flavor was introduced to the Japanese market. In the Philippines, a "Dalandan Fresh" variant is available. Other varieties of Mentos include: Mentos Sours, which recently became available in the United States, featuring Watermelon, Green Apple, and Lemon flavors; caffeinated "Energy" Mentos, sold mainly in Germany, where one roll equals the amount of caffeine in two cups of coffee; "Fresh Cola" flavored Mentos released in New Zealand, Australia and parts of Europe and Asia; and "AIR Mentos" containing Menthol, which are sold primarily in Belgium and the Netherlands. In India, the major flavors available are mint, lemon, strawberry, orange, watermelon and cola.
In the Netherlands, Mentos Gum is sold in blisters and bottles in six different varieties: Pure (four flavors), Fruit (four flavors), Regular (five flavors), Bubblegum, Cubes (four flavors) and White (three flavors). Mentos Gum is also available in Australia, Greece, China, Canada, Brazil, Turkey, Poland, the Philippines, and recently, the United States in blisters and bottles, both in three different flavors.
In August 2005, the variety of the mint which comes in "mixed berries" and "cool mint" flavors was changed to be sweetened with sucralose. In the Netherlands the flavors mint, licorice and fruit are also available in the sugar-free variety.
Australian varieties of Mentos are Mint, Fruit, Strong Mint, Berry Blast, Spearmint, Grape, Cola, Sour Mix, Tropical, Pineapple and Mocktail (piña colada and mojito). Four novel flavors feature in the "New Rainbow" variety 37.5 grams (1.32 oz) rollpack: Kiwi, Cranberry, Caramel and Yuzu (a Korean/Japanese sour mandarin flavor). Mentos Gum is also available in Peppermint, Spearmint and Orangemint.
The UK has five current flavors of rolls:
- Fruit (Orange, lemon and strawberry)
- Rainbow (with 2 flavors of each of the following: Strawberry, Apple, Raspberry, Orange, Watermelon, Blueberry & Pink Grapefruit (the last two are new flavors for 2015).
- Tutti-Frutti - bubblegum flavored - new for 2012.
In the UK, Mentos Gum is also available in stick packs (peppermint, spearmint, pure white, air action (menthol) and fruit), Bottles (spearmint, peppermint and red fruit - which retails for approximately £0.99), as well as flip top boxes in peppermint or spearmint with green tea extract, and a pure white with white teas extract. Sugar free versions are available, but these are rarer to find, usually only found in large supermarkets. Mentos gum holds a 4% market share of the UK gum market. A new Mentos 3 was launched in January 2011, in two flavors - mint and Strawberry/Apple/Raspberry, which are similar to Wrigleys' 5 in packaging. A new blackberry/kiwi/strawberry version was released into the UK market in January 2012.
In Greece, Mentos are very popular, and are available in the following flavors:
- Fruit (Orange, lemon and strawberry),
- Energy (each roll is equivalent to 2 cups of coffee)
- Mentos gum in Bottles
- Mentos Cube
- Mentos in Boxes (mint and Fruit).
Mini Mentos, somewhat smaller than ordinary Mentos, are available in the Netherlands in two varieties: Mini Mentos Fruitmix, which contains the flavors orange, lemon, strawberry and apple, and Mini Mentos Yoghurt, with the flavors strawberry yogurt, raspberry yogurt and blueberry yogurt. Also sold is Mentos KIDZ, a bag with 12 boxes containing 10 miniature candies, in the flavors strawberry, orange, lemon, apple and blueberry.
"Mentos Teens" is available in Brazil and the rest of Latin America. They come in a rectangular box. The mint is basically miniature Mentos roughly the size of Skittles, and they come in mixed flavors: white grape (green), lemon (yellow), strawberry (pink), orange (orange), raspberry (blue), and cherry (red).
During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, a Brazilian team Mentos was released in Brazil to support the national team. The mint was green apple and orange flavors.
Ume, Fuji apple, and Pine Fresh (pineapple) Mentos are sold exclusively in Japan.
Flavors only available in certain countries; Enigma (Czech Republic) Rainbow (UK and US) Ume (Japan) Fuji Apple (Japan) Pine Fresh (Japan) Ice (Canada)
Part of Mentos's popularity in the US and Canada can be attributed to its campy TV commercials and catchy jingle, which debuted in late 1991 on American and Canadian television. Shot in South Africa, individuals facing various day-to-day dilemmas consume Mentos and are subsequently inspired to solve their problems at hand in a creative, often-humorous fashion. For example, a job interviewee sits on a freshly painted bench, staining his suit, and then solves the problem by rolling around on the bench until his suit has pinstripes. Another features a woman whose parked car is boxed in; she calls a crew of construction workers over who lift her car onto the road for her. These unusual behaviors are typically witnessed by nearby, sometimes antagonistic characters, and a roll of Mentos is boisterously displayed by the commercial's respective protagonist to the observer as an explanation for their actions. The ad campaign was parodied in multiple television shows and music videos.
In 2008, Mentos Gum has gotten its own commercial. It displays a man sitting near a business water tank, and pops a piece of Mentos Gum in his mouth. A woman then walks by, pushes his nose up, and proceeds to kiss him, the kiss making a slurping sound. The woman then wipes her mouth, and pushes the man's nose back down as if to close it. The phrase "Mouthwatering" was used. However, more recently, the slurping, kissing sounds have been removed. In 2014, Mentos aired a humorous TV ad by McKinney with the tagline "Long Last the Fresh" featuring a medieval knight who, though sustaining multiple wounds and a severed hand (revealed in the final frame), refuses to go down until his gum is no longer fresh.
In India, the slogan of Mentos is 'Mentos Khao Dimaag Ki bati jalao' which roughly translates to 'Eat Mentos and ignite the spark in your mind'. TV ads are generally based on a situation where a person facing a problem suddenly has a brainwave after eating Mentos and solves the problem innovatively.
Another Mentos advert highlighted the multicolored variety of the sweets by showing a scene where two young lovers are sitting in a living room. The teen girl screams as a small seemingly harmless spider crawls across the carpet. This prompts the teen boy to get off the couch that they are sitting on and pick up the spider, only to be violently thrown about by the spider. The slogan at the end reads "sometimes it's best to be ready for the next thing"
Mentos in Arabic countries, such as Egypt or Morocco, are often sold in smaller rolls roughly half the size of a regular Mentos roll.
Mentos and soft drink reaction
First demonstrated by chemistry teacher Lee Marek on the Late Show with David Letterman in 1999, and later popularized in a June 2006 viral Internet video by Eepybird, a Mentos mint expedites a rapid release of carbon dioxide when dropped into a carbonated liquid, such as a soft drink. MythBusters concluded that the potassium benzoate, aspartame, and CO2 gas contained in the Diet Coke, in combination with the gelatin and gum arabic ingredients of the Mentos, all contribute to the formation of the foam.
The structure of the Mentos is the most significant cause of the eruption due to nucleation. MythBusters reported that when fruit-flavored Mentos with a smooth waxy coating were tested in carbonated drink there was hardly a reaction, whereas mint-flavored Mentos (with no such coating) added to carbonated drink formed an energetic eruption, supporting the nucleation-site theory. According to MythBusters, the surface of the mint Mentos is covered with many small holes that increase the surface area available for reaction (and thus the quantity of reagents exposed to each other at any given time), thereby allowing CO2 bubbles to form with the rapidity and quantity necessary for the "jet"- or "geyser"- or eruption like nature of the effusion.
This hypothesis gained further support when rock salt was used as a "jump start" to the reaction. A paper by Tonya Coffey, a physicist at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, confirmed that the rough surface of the Mentos candy helps speed the reaction. Coffey also found that the aspartame in diet soda lowers the surface tension and causes a bigger reaction, but that caffeine does not accelerate the reaction.
A Guinness World Record of 2,865 simultaneous geysers was set on 17 October 2010, in an event organized by Perfetti Van Melle (Philippines) at the SM Mall of Asia Complex, in Manila, Philippines. This record was afterwards beaten in November 2014 by another event organized by Perfetti Van Melle and Chupa Chups in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico where 4,334 Mentos and soda fountains were set off simultaneously.
The resulting geyser can shoot as high as 6 m (20 ft). The unofficial record, reached in MythBusters, was over 34 ft (10 m) with the use of a nozzle.
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