In the spring of 1891, a 29-year-old William Wrigley Jr. arrived in Chicago from Philadelphia. The man had only 32 dollars with him, but he had a great desire to start his own business. However, in addition to energy and enthusiasm, Mr. Wrigley had another important talent – the seller. Senior Wrigley produced soap, and William, while still a boy, started selling this product called Wrigley Scoring in the streets of his native Philadelphia. The teenager got used to working full-time, selling his father’s product, he traveled with a van to cities and enticed a “super-cleaning” product of retail customers.
In Chicago, Wrigley Jr. did not hesitate to think about selling Soap Wrigley Scoring for a while. And to attract customers, William offered them a variety of incentive bonuses. For example, as a premium, flour was offered. Suddenly, Wrigley realized that buyers are more interested in it than the soap itself. He quickly navigated and began to produce baking flour and sell it already. And in 1892 he as a bonus to each buyer of a bank of his product gave a pair of bags of chewing gum. Again, Wrigley noticed that such a proposal was very popular with customers. Again the situation was repeated – the bonus turned out to be more attractive than the main product, the sale of which was supposed to help.
In those days in America, about a dozen companies created chewing gum and traded it. But this direction itself remained undeveloped. Then Wrigley decided that this product has a huge potential, this is exactly what he was looking for. William began to release the chewing gum under his own name. First appeared two varieties of Lotta and Vassar. And in 1893, Juicy Fruit went on sale, and later Wrigley’s Spearmint. In this business it was difficult to quickly secure a stable position, because competitors already offered more famous brands than Wrigley. In addition, in 1899, six large companies merged together. The new concern was to seriously compete with the developing firm of Wrigley. He himself refused to unite with rivals, preferring to act independently. Several times the young company was under threat of bankruptcy, but thanks to the heavy and painstaking work of the owner, the business gradually got to its feet.
Initially, sales were handled personally by Wrigley the Younger. He constantly traveled around the country, persuaded wholesalers and retail buyers. The businessman continued the practice of using premiums in sales, encouraging sellers to purchase chewing gum in reserve. Wrigley realized that his goods would be more likely to be bought if people would receive a small gift for it. The range of premium offers has constantly expanded – from lamps to shaving blades. Even a catalog of awards was issued, so that buyers would better understand what they should choose.
Wrigley quickly appreciated this tool to attract new customers, like advertising. He constantly experimented with it and was one of the first to use it to promote certain varieties. Wrigley realized that the growing appeal of his chewing gum is associated with stories about the benefits of the product in newspapers, magazines, street posters. And when more and more customers turn to sellers for Wrigley chewing gum, they will have to purchase the product with a margin. This idea was used to promote mint chewing gum, which Mr. Wrigley decided to make his main product. Today we know this variety called Wrigley’s Spearmint. And at the beginning of the century the product was sold very poorly. In 1906, Wrigley launched an advertising campaign in three cities in the east of the country – in Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester. I must say that the results were very promising. Then Mr. Wrigley also improved his technology, packaging and marketing. In many ways, thanks to him, a cult of chewing gum was born in America.
The very same company began to turn from small-town to a large enterprise already international level.Export went to many countries, which made the brand famous throughout the world. In 1910, a factory was opened in Canada, in 1927 – in the UK, and in 1939 in a distant New Zealand. The company itself became open in 1919, and in 1923 it was first mentioned in the archives of the New York Stock Exchange. The acquisition of international markets required new products with special tastes. The company grew, but adhered to its main principle that even such a small product as chewing gum should be of impeccable quality. In 1925, the son of the founder, Philip K. Wrigley became the president of the company. And William himself died in 1932.
During the Second World War, the head of the company, Philip Rigley, in order to protect the reputation of the company, was forced to take unusual measures. Martial position led to a restriction of the supply of quality ingredients, and the demand for the chewing gum itself grew. After all, it helped to relieve tension, remaining collected. This was important for the morale of the soldiers, as a result, the main shipments of products were supplied to the army. But so much chewing gum Wrigley simply could not produce. In order not to change its level, the company stopped selling Wrigley’s Spearmint, Doublemint and Juicy Fruit varieties among the civilian population altogether. These varieties until 1944 could only be found in the army. And for peaceful people, a special sort of “wartime” was developed. Wrigley honestly announced to customers that this product, despite its excellent qualities, is still not good enough to carry a brand name. Later components began to arrive so little that the chewing gum of the previous level could not be produced even for the army. As a result, Wrigley completely abandoned its main varieties, switching to war-time product shipments. And to maintain the image of a once-quality product, a unique advertising campaign was conducted. The posters depicted an empty wrapper from Wrigley’s Spearmint with the signature “Remember this wrapper!”.
And that’s the sort of chewing gum with sugar, introduced in wartime, was the famous Orbit. This gum was supposed to replace the temporarily deceased major varieties. After completing its function, Orbit was withdrawn from production in 1946. But in 1976 the company introduced this variety again. This time in Germany, and as a chewing gum without sugar. The success of the product led to the spread of Orbit through the territory of Western, Eastern Europe, in the East. For more than twenty years Orbit has been number one in these regions. Depending on the country, chewing gum is sold in different forms – plates and pads, and with different tastes. Today the Orbit trademark is registered in 150 countries of the world.
поставки After the end of the war, the supply of quality raw materials was improved. In 1946, Wrigley’s Spearmint appeared on the market again, a bit later Juicy Fruit was launched, and in 1947, Doublemint. Although they were not sold for a couple of years in America, they quickly gained their prewar popularity, and soon surpassed them. Since then, the company has thrown the main forces into expanding its sales markets. Representative offices in Asia and Europe were added to existing factories. Today the company owns 15 factories, one of them was built in St. Petersburg in 1999.
In 1961, Philip Rigley took over as chairman of the Board of Directors, and his son William became president. After the death of Philip in 1977, the management of the company passed into the hands of William Wrigley, who died in 1999. Now the business is led by William Wrigley, Jr., great-grandson of the founder of the company. Constantly interested in the opinion of consumers, in the mid-70’s the company gave the market new chewing gum brands: Freedent, Big Red with cinnamon and Hubba-Bubba. And in 1984 was released chewing gum without sugar Extra. Currently, these Wrigley products are popular in more than a hundred countries around the world.