I’m always on the lookout for a new smokeless alternative / fake dip to help folks in their fight against nicotine. So you can imagine my excitement when I find a new vendor has entered the market… ESPECIALLY when they offer something unique that’s not currently being done. Enter Gator Sunflower Seed Chew – www.gatorchew.com
Gator Sunflower Seed Chew is unique to the smokeless alternative market in that it’s made from you guessed it… sunflower seeds. It contains no tobacco and no nicotine so it’s completely safe for quitters looking for something to satisfy their oral fixation.
Ingredients – Gator Sunflower Seed Chew
Sunflower seeds (kernel and shell), extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, tomato powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, chipotle powder, microcrystalline cellulose (natural anti-caking).
I sampled 3 flavors of Gator Chew – Regular, Spicy and Barbecue. (Barbecue has been removed from the Gator site for the time being. I’m assuming it will be coming back at some point. I’ll update this post when / if it returns).
Before I get started, here’s a note from Jonathen Keel, founder of Gator Sunflower Seed Chew that I wanted to pass along to give some additional context:
“Keep in mind that I am not marketing them as tobacco mimic, but just a chew. They are not meant to have a lot of juice, but mainly flavor that you swallow.”
In fact, if you look on Gator’s website FAQ, you’ll see that it’s not meant to taste like tobacco, will not produce a dark brown spit, etc.
Regular Gator Sunflower Seed Chew
I’ll admit that I wasn’t quite sure what to expect here. The note from Jonathan above helped, but I still didn’t know what I was in for so I dug right in. There’s no “packing” necessary with the product as it’s not really a “dip” product per se. This is quite literally ground up sunflower seeds with some flavoring added. The first can I opened came out all in one “puck” which I thought was sort of weird.
When sampling the Regular, I put it in the same way I’d pop in a dip – between my cheek and gum down near the bottom of my gum line. I found out rather quickly that for me, that wouldn’t work. These are ground up sunflower seeds, so it was a pit painful against my gums. That said, as soon as I moved it around and started “chewing” on it I found the brilliance here. Flavor is great and you can swallow the juice / seeds. From a flavor perspective, if you’re really “working” your chew the flavor won’t last all that long (similar to flavored sunflower seeds which this essentially is) but if you’re just sort of “parking” it in your cheek it’ll stay for a good long while.
Spicy Gator Sunflower Seed Chew
A very similar product to the Regular, but the Spicy has a nice “kick” to it. Not as spicy as other alternatives that use a lot of cayenne pepper but it’s definitely there and adds a nice alternative. I have to say that this one gives me sort of a “film” feeling in my mouth that feels weird, but once I got used to it I just sort of got lost in the flavor and was really enjoying it.
I will say that this is probably (at least for me) an outside chew. Cleanup afterward was a bit on the messy side as it’s not really coming out in a “plug” the way chew or dip does, but rather tiny “bits” of ground up sunflower seeds. For me, it was easiest to just sort of spew the whole batch out so this would be a GREAT alternative for ball players or when you’re outside doing yard work, etc.
Barbecue Gator Sunflower Seed Chew
This flavor isn’t currently available on the site so I won’t go into much detail other than to say I enjoyed it and it had a nice “sweet” barbecue flavor.
This is a really interesting one as it’s not a traditional dip or snus alternative. If you don’t like (or are allergic to) sunflower seeds then this one won’t be for you. It’s a bit messy on the clean up side of things so it makes for a great outdoor chew. Those negatives aside, I really enjoyed Gator Sunflower Seed Chew. It provides a “chewing” tobacco alternative that really isn’t out there.
Some may ask how this is different from other flavored sunflower seeds. While it’s not totally different, it is unique in that it’s shredded / chopped up quite a bit more than normal seeds and there’s some unique flavors going on here. For me when I was chewing a ton of seeds I found that my mouth REALLY got ripped up. And while this isn’t nearly as “soft” as some of the other alternatives out there I don’t think it would do as much “damage” as regular seeds. It also contains MUCH less sodium than traditional bagged seeds which is a big bonus.
Special thanks to Jonathan from Gator Chew (Southern Chew Solutions LLC) for providing me samples to try and review.
You can purchase Gator Sunflower Seed Chew from their website at www.gatorchew.com or visit them on Facebook. Both Regular and Spicy are currently available in 10 packs or a 10 can sampler pack of 5 cans each. Tell em KillTheCan.org sent you!