Mentos are a popular brand of candy sold in the United States and across the world. It is produced by the Perfetti Van Melle Corporation. Mentos were first produced in the Netherlands during the 1950s. They are small and disc-shaped, and have a slightly-hard exterior and a chewy interior. They are sold in rolls, each of which contain 14 Mentos. They are also sold in individually-sized boxes in the United States, as well as three and six-packs of the rolls.
It is unclear what the correct term for a single piece is. Some claim the word is "Mento", while others maintain the singular is also "Mentos". The singular has never been used in a commercial, and has probably never been officially specified by the company.
A similar candy, called "Chewz", is manufactured by Lance, Inc. Mentos aficionados have jokingly referred to this as the "anti-Mentos".
Mentos come in a different variety of flavors, the most common of which are mint and mixed fruit (a combination of orange, grape, and lemon). They were originally licorice-flavored, and can still be purchased in the Netherlands as "Drop Mentos".
Other known flavors include green apple, cinnamon, strawberry, tropical fruit, wintergreen, grapefruit, and peach. Another version of the mint flavor, known as "Strong Mentos", is sold in the Netherlands, and is akin to an Altoid. Chocolate Mentos were produced in 1989, but the flavor was discontinued.
The popularity of Mentos can be attributed to its commercials, which usually feature a person who encounters a problem. Such examples include a woman who breaks a heel on her shoes, or a man who sits down on a freshly-painted bench, getting paint on his new business suit. In each case, the person eats a Mentos, and proceeds to solve the problem at hand: the woman breaks off her other heel, and the man rolls around on the bench, creating pinstripes on his suit.
The commercials were parodied thinly in an episode of Family Guy, when John Wilkes Booth kept botching Abraham Lincoln's assassination. The candy in the program was called "Mintos" but used the same slogan, "the freshmaker." The Foo Fighters' 1996 music video, Big Me, parodied the Mentos commercials, using an imaginary candy called Footos.