Wrigley Co.

In 1891, William Wrigley, Jr. moved to Chicago and began selling soap. To increase sales, he gave away gum to his customers. His gum was a hit and so he decided to make and sell gum. In 1893, he began manufacturing Juicy Fruit and Spearmint gums. Wrigley’s gum was packaged in small containers with five sticks each and were distributed though confectioners and grocery stores. At the time, Wrigley was just one of hundreds of gum manufacturers in the United States.
Wrigley began promoting his gum through advertisements and he began to expand his operation. He was the first American gum manufacturer to begin selling his products abroad, first in Canada (1910), then in the United Kingdom (1911) and Australia (1915). In 1927, he opened up a factory in London. He also continued to create new products and innovate their distribution. For instance, the company released its Doublemint gum in 1914. Wrigley sold his gum through vending machines and in the 1920s he purchased the rights to 10,000 machines in the New York City subways.
During World War II, the Wrigley Company was contracted to pack K rations for soldiers. It inserted a sick of chewing gum in every ration. The company has continued to develop new gums; it introduced its Freedent Gum (designed to not stick to dentures) in 1977 and Extra Sugarfree Gum in 1984. Two years later it introduced Hubba Bubble bubble gum.
The Wrigley Company has engaged in extensive advertising. Its jingle “Double your pleasure, double your fun” for Doublemint Gum has been rated by Advertising Age in 2001 as one of the top ten advertising jingles of the twentieth century.
The Wrigley Company has factories in 10 other countries and its gum is distributed in 180 countries. It is the top-selling gum in China. The company is the world’s largest maker of chewing and bubble gum; its headquarters are in Chicago. It has acquired other confections, such as LifeSavers. Today, Wrigley’s gum is a $2 billion operation and remains family-owned.

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