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Certs

Back in 2016, I was watching an episode of Supermarket Sweep on YouTube when a question about Certs came up. From the kitchen I heard a friend ask, “What are Certs?” My mind was instantly blown.

I turned around and without a second of hesitation, “Only the most popular mint in America. You can buy them at every checkout counter anywhere.”

“Well, I’ve never heard of them before.”

“Wow, well I’ll show you the next time we go to the store. I haven’t had them in years, but they are quite tasty.”

I made a quick reminder in my phone to look for Certs and then went about watching my episode. The next day I found myself at Target, and while making my rounds I headed toward the bulk candy aisle. I browsed the bags of Lifesavers, Breathsavers, Tic Tacs, and gum, but I didn’t find any Certs. I headed up to the front checkout lanes where I just knew I’d find Wintergreen, Spearmint, and Cinnamon Certs, but you know what I found? More Breathsavers and no Certs.

Target doesn’t always stock some staples you’d expect them to (they don’t have Hi-C for example), so I didn’t think much of it. We had to stop by Dollar General on the way home, and I knew amongst all the candy they stocked I would certainly find Certs. I was wrong, again.

So, my “every checkout counter in America” comment was beginning to sound really stupid. Was it true? Did Certs no longer exist? I checked Amazon and found them in stock in bulk, but they were rather pricey. I did a quick Google search and what I found was sad. Certs didn’t have a website or any social media presence. The only relevant mention of Certs that I ran across was someone like me who got online to ask where you could buy them because they were seemingly nowhere to be found. The people who replied said dollar stores and Walmart were the best bets, and so I my faith in finding a roll of Certs was restored and I continued my hunt.

Over the next week, I hit up a wide variety of stores while looking for Certs. I tried Five Below, Dollar Tree, Sheetz, a ton of convenience stores, and finally Walmart. I didn’t find a single roll. Outside of Amazon, I couldn’t find any online retailers who had them in stock either.

I finally gave in and ordered a three pack from Amazon. They tasted better than I remembered and I was pleasantly surprised at the warm feeling of nostalgia I got from eating one. It seemed all elderly people carried around Certs when I was growing up, and I’m pretty sure I never had a roll of Certs of my own, but I was handed hundreds of those little sweet discs. That minty sweet taste took me back to a simpler time, and that made paying six dollars for a three pack worth it.

The Certs had a best by date of October 2016 on them, which was just two months away. That didn’t bother me, but when I looked on Amazon about buying a larger order of Certs, I noticed the newest review stated that the box they received also was best by October. This made me wonder if Certs had been discontinued and this is just the leftover stock that someone is getting rid of. I reached out to Mondelez (who owns Certs) to see if Certs are still in production or not. I never got a reply.

In September 2016, I was able to find a few rolls of Certs at a Dollar General and then in a gift shop at O’Hare airport in Chicago. Both times I bought the final rolls and after that I’ve never seen another roll since. After four years of looking, I’m pretty sure Certs are no more.

A little background on Certs:

Certs were introduced in 1956 and were one of the first mints marketed in the United States. There has been a huge debate on whether Certs are a breath mint or not. In 1999, the US Customs classified Certs as a candy mint, but the Court of Appeals over turned this decision thus making Certs legally a breath mint despite not containing any anti-bacterial ingredients or oils of any mint plant.

I recall buying Certs Powerful Mints, which were Certs answer to Tic-Tacs in a cool credit card sized container. They were powerful and would almost bring tears to your eyes, but I ate them because the packaging was so cool. That’s probably the reason that I never buy mints, outside of the occasional orange Tic-Tacs.

According to that Snack Locator (in 2016) Certs were no longer sold by the roll but packaged in either three packs or twelve packs:

Three Packs: Assorted Fruit and Spearmint

Twelve Packs: Cinnamon, Mixed Fruit, Peppermint, Spearmint, Wintergreen

Here are some Certs commercials I found on YouTube:

 








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Vaporman87 Posted on Apr 01, 2020 at 11:19 PM

Holy cow! I’m like you... I just figured they were out there still. But since I also never purchased any, I was out of the loop.

Benjanime Posted on Mar 31, 2020 at 10:24 PM

these sound very familiar, i might have bought these mints at some point in another state but they just haven't shown up in my home state. i doubt i'm missing much though, i see other brands like this which might just have the same flavors somewhere.

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