Wrigley Company

The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, known as the Wrigley Company, is an American chewing gum (Wrigley's gum) company founded on April 1, 1891, by William Wrigley Jr., based in the Global Innovation Center (GIC) in Goose Island, Chicago, Illinois.[1] It is wholly owned by Mars, Incorporated, and along with Mars chocolate bars and other candy products makes up Mars Wrigley Confectionery.[2] It is the largest manufacturer and marketer of chewing gum in the world.[3][4][5]

The company currently sells its products in more than 180 countries and districts, maintains operations in over 50 countries, and has 21 production facilities in 14 countries including the United States, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, China, India, Japan, Kenya, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand.[6]

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
FoundedApril 1, 1891
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
FounderWilliam Wrigley Jr.
HeadquartersGlobal Innovation Center, ,
Area served
Key people
ProductsJuicy Fruit, Wrigley's Spearmint, Doublemint, others
RevenueIncrease $5.389 billion (2007)
Increase $961.9 million (2009)
Number of employees
ParentMars, Incorporated
WebsiteMars Wrigley Confectionery website
Wrigley Building - Chicago, Illinois
The Wrigley Building, former HQ


In 1892, Wrigley Jr. began packaging chewing gum with each can of baking powder. The chewing gum eventually became more popular than the baking powder and Wrigley's reoriented the company to produce the gum. Wrigley's gum was traditionally made out of chicle, which was sourced largely from Latin America. In 1952, in response to land reforms attempting to end feudal working conditions for peasant farmers, Wrigley's discontinued purchasing chicle from Guatemala. In the 1960s, Wrigley's changed the composition of its chewing gum from using chicle to synthetic rubber, which was cheaper to manufacture.

Wrigley's announced the closure of its Santa Cruz, California manufacturing plant in April 1996. The plant had been built in 1955. The 385,000-square-foot manufacturing facility was put on the market in October 1996 for US$11.3 million, or about $30 a square foot.[7][8]

In 2005, Wrigley purchased Life Savers and Altoids from Kraft Foods for US$1.5 billion.[9] On January 23, 2007, Wrigley signed a purchase agreement to acquire an 80% initial interest in A. Korkunov for $300 million with the remaining 20% to be acquired over time. On April 28, 2008, Mars announced that it would acquire Wrigley for approximately $23 billion.[10] Financing for the transaction was provided by Berkshire Hathaway, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan; Berkshire Hathaway held a minority equity investment in Wrigley until October 2016.[11][12]

The Wrigley Building on Michigan Avenue, one of Chicago's best-known landmarks on the Magnificent Mile, was originally the company's global headquarters until 2011, when it was sold to an investor group that included Zeller Realty Group as well as Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.[13] The company has been headquartered in the GIC since 2012.

In 2016, Mars announced that Wrigley would be merged with its chocolate segment to form a new subsidiary, Mars Wrigley Confectionery. The new company will maintain global offices in Chicago, while moving its U.S. offices to New Jersey, in Hackettstown and Newark, respectively.

Corporate leadership

1891–1932: William Wrigley Jr.

In 1891, 29-year-old William Wrigley Jr. (1861–1932) came to Chicago from Philadelphia with $32 and the idea to start a business selling Wrigley's Scouring Soap.[14] Wrigley offered premiums as an incentive to buy his soap, such as baking powder. Later in his career, he switched to the baking powder business, in which he began offering two packages of chewing gum for each purchase of a can of baking powder. The popular premium, chewing gum, began to seem more promising. Wrigley also became the majority owner of the Chicago Cubs in 1921.

1932–1961: Philip K. Wrigley

After the death of William Wrigley Jr., his son Philip K. Wrigley (1894–1977) assumed his father's position as CEO of the Wrigley Company. Wrigley is most well known for his unusual move to support US troops and protect the reputation of the Wrigley brand during World War II, in which he dedicated the entire output of Wrigley's Spearmint, Doublemint, and Juicy Fruit to the US Armed Forces. Wrigley launched the "Remember this Wrapper" ad campaign to keep the Wrigley brands on the minds of the customers during times of wartime rationing.[9] Wrigley's P.K. brand was named after P.K. Wrigley.[15]

1961–1999: William Wrigley III

In 1961, Philip K. Wrigley handed control to his son, William Wrigley III (1933–1999). Wrigley led a strategic global expansion through the establishment of Wrigley facilities in nine new countries.[9] On June 26, 1974, a Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio installed the first bar code scanning equipment. The first product to be scanned using a Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code was a 10-pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum.[16] (This pack of gum is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.) In 1984, Wrigley introduced a new gum, Extra, which followed the new trend of sugar-free gums in the US.[9] Wrigley also assumed control of the Chicago Cubs after his father's death in 1977, and sold the team to the Chicago Tribune in 1981.

1999–2006: William Wrigley IV

William "Beau" Wrigley IV (1963–), following the death of Wrigley III (his father), led the sugar-free gum campaign across Europe, Australia, Spain, India, and China.[9] In 2005, Kraft Foods sold the Life Savers and Altoids businesses to Wrigley in exchange for $1.5 billion as part of a reorganization plan.[17] Wrigley led the establishment of the Wrigley Science Institute (WSI) in 2006 to study the oral health benefits of gum chewing. The WSI investigates the effects of gum chewing on weight management, stress relief, concentration, and oral health.[9]

2006–2008: William Perez

On October 23, 2006, William D. Perez (1948–) succeeded Bill Wrigley as CEO. He was the first person outside the Wrigley family to head the company. In 2007, the company debuted 5 Gum in the US. The 5 Gum brand was marketed using cinematic TV commercials portraying "What it feels like to chew 5 Gum". Perez led the efforts of improving slimmer packaging (Slim Pack) with flavor improvements across both Extra and Wrigley brands.[9]

2008–2011: Dushan "Duke" Petrovich

Dushan Petrovich (1954–) succeeded Perez almost immediately after Mars, Incorporated's 2008 purchase of Wrigley. In 2009, Wrigley's Global Innovation Center received the LEED Gold Certification through Wrigley's commitment to global sustainability. In the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wrigley was the Official Confectionery Supplier of the games, in which the company sported Olympic-themed packs and products.[9]

2011–present: Martin Radvan

Martin Radvan became the president of the Wrigley Company after Petrovich. He is responsible for the company's worldwide strategy, operations and business performance.[18]


  • The Wrigley Company Limited
  • Amurol Confections Company
  • Northwestern Flavors, LLC

Changes in gum

In some countries, xylitol is used to sweeten gum instead of aspartame. By avoiding sugar, the chance of tooth decay is lowered, since the sugar otherwise used may turn into acid after chewing the gum. It is also claimed that in chewing, it may help to remove food residues. Xylitol-based products are allowed by the US Food and Drug Administration to make the medical claim that they do not promote dental cavities.[19]

New product

Wrigley temporarily halted production and sales of its new Alert energy gum as the Food and Drug Administration investigates the safety of caffeinated-food products.[20]



United States
Wrigley's Gum 1920 Ad
A newspaper ad from 1920 for three types of Wrigley's gum
The Wrigley Company Ltd., Estover, Plymouth, UK
Additional products and brands

See also


  1. ^ "Global Innovation Center". Wrigley Company. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  2. ^ Elejalde-Ruiz, Alexia (January 31, 2019). "With zany Super Bowl stunts and innovative M&Ms, Mars Wrigley tries to stand out in a crowded candy aisle". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  3. ^ "Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company". International Directory of Company Histories. Thomson Gale; republished online at Encyclopedia.com. 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  4. ^ Channick, Robert (September 8, 2013). "With teens chewing less, gum manufacturers change ad strategies". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  5. ^ Jargon, Julie (February 11, 2013). "An Orange Crème Pop Gum? Folks Just Aren't Chewing It". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  6. ^ "Wrigley Worldwide Locations". Wrigley.com.
  7. ^ "Wrigley's Move Hard to Swallow". SFGate. May 1, 1996. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  8. ^ "Wrigley Santa Cruz plant for sale". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Heritage Timeline", Wrigley Company. Retrieved on September 25, 2012.
  10. ^ Karnitschnig, Matthew; Berman, Dennis K. (April 27, 2008). "Mars, Buffett Team Up in Wrigley Bid". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
  11. ^ Kell, John (October 6, 2016). "Mars Inks Deal With Warren Buffett For Full Control of Wrigley". Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  12. ^ Stempel, Jonathan; Ganesan, Gayathree (October 6, 2016). "Mars Inc buying out Buffett stake in Wrigley". Reuters.com. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  13. ^ "Wrigley Building Sold, Groupon Cofounders Among Buyers". The Huffington Post. September 19, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  14. ^ Batchelor, Bob (2002). The 1900s. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313313349.
  15. ^ http://www.wrigley.com/aunz/contact-us/product-faq.aspx
  16. ^ Bellis, Mary. "Bar Codes", Inventors, About.com Guide, September 26, 2012.
  17. ^ Warner, Melanie. "Kraft Foods Will Sell Altoids and Life Savers to Wrigley", The New York Times, November 16, 2004. accessed September 26, 2012.
  18. ^ "Leadership", Wrigley Company, September 26, 2012.
  19. ^ "US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21". US Food & Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  20. ^ "WRIGLEY HALTS CAFFEINATED GUM". AP. Retrieved May 9, 2013.

External links

5 (gum)

5 is a brand of sugar-free chewing gum that is manufactured by the Wrigley Company. The name "5" hints at the five human senses (with the ad slogan "Stimulate Your Senses" and "Everybody Experiences it Differently") and that it has 5 calories. 5 gum was introduced to United States markets in March 2007, in Canada in January 2008, in Russia, Europe and Australia in 2009, in China, India, Italy, Israel, Thailand, and Malaysia in 2010.

Alert (gum)

Alert is an energy caffeine gum produced by the Wrigley's company that entered the U.S. market in April 2013.

Big League Chew

Big League Chew is a brand of bubble gum that is shredded and packaged in an aluminum foil pouch. It was created by Portland Mavericks left-handed pitcher Rob Nelson and bat boy Todd Field then pitched to the Wrigley Company (longtime owners of the Chicago Cubs) by fellow Maverick and former New York Yankee All-Star Jim Bouton as a fun imitation of the tobacco-chewing habit common among ballplayers in the 1970s. Over 800 million pouches of Big League Chew have been sold since 1980. Big League Chew was introduced in May 1980, in the traditional pink color already seen in established brands of bubble gum. The cartoony packaging, originally designed by artist Bill Mayer, comes in flashy colors such as neon green (for their sour apple flavor) and bright purple (grape flavor).

Currently, it is manufactured in the USA by Ford Gum & Machine Company in Akron, NY, after taking over distribution rights from Wrigley and moving production from Mexico at the end of 2010.The original advertising slogan throughout the 1980s, which is still featured today, was, "You're in the big leagues when you're into Big League Chew!" It currently bills itself as "The Hall of Fame Bubble Gum," bearing an official endorsement from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Big Red (gum)

Big Red is a cinnamon flavored chewing gum introduced by the William Wrigley Jr. Company in 1975. Big Red was available in the United Kingdom and Ireland in the mid to end of the 1990s, but is no longer available there. It is a popular souvenir for visitors to the United States from Ireland, or the United Kingdom.Big Red was also released in the early to the middle of the 1980s in Australia, but was discontinued in the end of the 1980s.It was re released in 2004, and again at the end of 2007. It is also available in Mexico, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, New Zealand, and parts of Sweden; the gum sold in Germany, Norway and Poland is not red but white. It is meant to be hot in flavor. Despite it not being a sugarless gum, in 2003 in the United States, Wrigley's replaced some of the sugar with aspartame and Ace K, both artificial sweeteners.


Doublemint is a variety of chewing gum made by the Wrigley Company; according to early advertisements, it is "double strength" peppermint flavored. It was launched in the United States in 1914, and has had variable market share since then.

Excel (gum)

Wrigley's Excel is a line of chewing gum and mints available in Canada since 1991. Eclipse is the American version of Excel.

For many years, Excel used the slogan "Excel-erate your breath", which has recently been replaced by "Eat, drink, chew, Excel". The advertisements are using food creatures since 2010, the same characters that Extra gum is using.

Extra (gum)

Extra is a brand of sugarfree chewing gum produced by the Wrigley Company in North America, Europe, and some parts of Africa, Australia and Asia.


Freedent is a gum manufactured by Wrigley's. Freedent was first introduced in the US and UK in 1975 and is marketed as the gum that "won't stick to most dental work (or braces). Freedent comes in three flavors - Peppermint, Spearmint, and Winterfresh. It also comes in two package sizes: single packs containing 15 sticks of gum, and multi-packs containing 8 packs of 5 sticks each. Sugar-free versions of Freedent are also available in several countries, including France.

Hubba Bubba

Hubba Bubba is a brand of bubble gum originally produced by Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, in the United States in 1979 but more recently produced in countries around the world. The bubble gum got its name from the phrase "Hubba Hubba", which some military personnel in World War II used to express approval. The main gimmick used to promote the gum is that as Hubba Bubba's is less sticky than other brands of gum it is easier to peel off your skin after a bubble bursts. When Hubba Bubba was first marketed, the gum's flavor (often referred to as 'original') was similar to that of others, but over time, different flavors of gum have been produced all around the world. Many, but not all, of these flavors are fruit-based. In addition, Hubba Bubba products have branched out, and also include flavors of soda, bubble gum and squeeze pouches.

Juicy Fruit

Juicy Fruit is a brand of chewing gum made by the Wrigley Company, a U.S. company that since 2008 has been a subsidiary of the privately held Mars, Incorporated. It was introduced in 1893, and in the 21st century the brand name is recognized by 99 percent of Americans, with total sales in 2002 of 153 million units.


Lockets are a confectionery produced by the Wrigley Company in the UK and Czech Republic. They are sold as medicated supplement to help nasal congestion and sore throats.

Orbit (gum)

Orbit is a brand of sugarless chewing gum from the Wrigley Company. In the United States, where it was re-launched in 2001, it is sold in cardboard boxes with 14 individually wrapped pieces per package. In the UK, where it was launched in 1899 it was originally sold as a traditional long-stick gum, later replaced by the same format as the US.

Orbit White, packaged in blister packs of 20 pieces, was released to compete with Cadbury Adams' Trident White gum in 2001.

Skittles (confectionery)

Skittles is a brand of fruit-flavoured candy, currently produced and marketed by the Wrigley Company, a division of Mars, Inc.

Skittles consist of hard sugar shells imprinted with the letter "S". The interior consists mainly of sugar, corn syrup, and hydrogenated palm kernel oil along with fruit juice, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors. The confectionery has been sold in a variety of flavor collections, such as Tropical, Wild Berry, Dessert, Sweet Heat and Sour.

Starburst (confectionery)

Starburst (originally known as Opal Fruits) is the brand name of a box-shaped, fruit-flavored soft taffy candy manufactured by The Wrigley Company, a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. Starburst has many different varieties such as Tropical, Sour, FaveReds, Very Berry, Superfruit Flavor, Summer Blast , and Original. The original flavors include: strawberry, lemon, orange, and cherry (changed from the initial lime). The tropical flavors include: strawberry banana, pina colada, cherry kiwi, and mango melon.


Surpass was a short-lived Wrigley antacid gum.

Shipments of Surpass to retail outlets were discontinued in March 2003 due to lack of popularity.

Tunes (confectionery)

Tunes is a brand of lozenge, manufactured by The Wrigley Company in the United Kingdom. It is marketed as a cough sweet, or anti-congestant lozenge, containing eucalyptus oil and menthol. It is a relative of the now discontinued brand of Spangles, and shares the same packaging and dimensions of that brand. In the United Kingdom, Tunes no longer have the style packaging of Spangles.There was a memorable television advertising campaign for the product with the slogan "Tunes help you breathe more easily". The commercials featured the actor Peter Cleall, who would perfectly enunciate the word "Tunes" after taking the anti-congestant.


Winterfresh is a wintergreen flavored variety of chewing gum made by the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. Introduced in the United States in 1994 as an alternative to their Big Red brand (for the winter season market), it has had two packaging designs as of 2004. Extra gum, a sugarless gum, introduced a Winterfresh flavor in 1988, while Freedent introduced a Winterfresh flavor around the same time the Winterfresh brand gum was introduced.

Each three-gram stick contains 10 Calories (42 kilojoules).

Wrigley's Spearmint

Wrigley's Spearmint is a brand of Wrigley's chewing gum. Wrigley's launched the brand in 1893, and markets the gum as its classic brand, although the company's brand Juicy Fruit has been on the market slightly longer. As the name implies the gum is flavored with the spearmint plant.

Gum was originally marketed by being given away free, with the purchase of Baking Soda. It became so popular that it was then eventually sold separately as a desired commodity.

In 2004, it was relaunched in the United States and United Kingdom, with the slogan "even better, longer lasting". Another advertising campaign was "some call it a spear, some call it an arrow." The spear/arrow has been a constant in the brand's advertising, as has been the mint leaf motif. The gum was traditionally grey/beige in colour, almost the same colour as Juicy Fruit and Doublemint. Recently, the gum has been coloured green.

Wrigley Building

The Wrigley Building (400-410 North Michigan Avenue, Near North Side, Chicago, Illinois) is a skyscraper located directly across Michigan Avenue from the Tribune Tower on the Magnificent Mile. It was built to house the corporate headquarters of the Wrigley Company.

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