In the spring of 1891, 29-year-old William Wrigley Jr. arrived in Chicago from Philadelphia. The teenager used to work a full week selling his father's product, he drove around the cities with a van and lured retail customers with the "super-cleaning" product.
In Chicago, Wrigley Jr., without hesitation, began selling Wrigley Scoring soap. And to attract buyers, William offered them various incentive bonuses. For example, flour was offered as a bonus. Suddenly Wrigley realized that customers were more interested in it than in the soap itself. He quickly got his bearings and began to produce baking flour and sell it already. And in 1892, he gave a couple of bags of chewing gum as a bonus to each buyer of a can of his product. Once again, Wrigley noticed that such an offer was very popular with customers. The situation was repeated again - 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 and traded chewing gum. But this direction itself remained undeveloped. Then Wrigley decided that such a product had great potential, this is exactly what he was looking for. William began to produce gum under his own name. First, there were two varieties Lotta and Vassar. And in 1893, Juicy Fruit went on sale, and a little later, Wrigley's Spearmint. In this business, it was difficult to quickly secure a stable position, because competitors already offered better known brands than Wrigley varieties. In addition, in 1899, six large companies merged together. The newly-formed concern had to seriously compete with the developing Wrigley firm. He himself refused to unite with rivals, preferring to act independently. Several times the young company was threatened with bankruptcy, but thanks to the hard and painstaking work of the owner, the business gradually got on its feet.
Initially, Wrigley Jr. was personally involved in sales. He constantly traveled around the country, persuading wholesalers and retail buyers. The businessman continued the practice of using bonuses in sales, encouraging sellers to purchase chewing gum in reserve. Wrigley understood that his goods would be more willing to buy if people received a small gift for it. The range of premium offers was constantly expanding - from lamps to shaving blades. Even a catalog of premiums was released so that buyers better understand what to choose.
Wrigley was quick to appreciate advertising as a new customer acquisition tool. He constantly experimented with it and was one of the first to use it to promote certain varieties. Wrigley realized that the growth in the appeal of his chewing gum was due to stories about the benefits of the product on the pages of newspapers, magazines, and street posters. And when more buyers turn to sellers for Wrigley chewing gum, they will be forced to purchase a product in excess. This idea was used to promote peppermint gum, and Mr. Wrigley decided to make it his main product. Today we know this variety as Wrigley's Spearmint. And at the beginning of the century, the product sold very poorly. In 1906, Wrigley launched an advertising campaign in three cities in the east of the country - Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester. I must say that the results have been very promising. Then Mr. Wrigley also improved his technology, packaging and sales. Largely thanks to him, the cult of chewing gum arose in America.
The company itself began to transform from a small-town into a large enterprise of an international level. Exports went to many countries, which made the brand famous all over the world. In 1910 a factory was opened in Canada, in 1927 in Great Britain, and in 1939 in distant New Zealand. The company itself became public in 1919, and in 1923 it was first mentioned in the archives of the New York Stock Exchange. The introduction to international markets required new products with special flavors. The company grew, but adhered to its main principle that even a product as small as chewing gum should be of impeccable quality. In 1925, the founder's son, Philip K. Wrigley, became president of the company. And William himself died in 1932.
During World War II, the head of the company, Philip Wrigley, was forced to take unusual measures in order to protect the company's reputation. Martial law resulted in limited supplies of quality ingredients, and demand for the gum itself grew. After all, she helped to relieve stress, staying collected. This was important for the morale of the soldiers; as a result, the main consignments of products were supplied to the army. But Wrigley simply couldn't produce so many high quality gum. In order not to change its level, the company has stopped selling Wrigley's Spearmint, Doublemint and Juicy Fruit varieties to civilians altogether. Until 1944, these varieties could be found exclusively in the army. And for civilians, a special sort of "wartime" was developed. Wrigley has honestly announced to customers that this product, while excellent, is still not good enough to bear its trademark. Later, the supply of components began to be so small 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 supplying a wartime product. And to maintain the image of a once-quality product, a unique advertising campaign was carried out. The posters featured an empty Wrigley's Spearmint wrapper with the caption "Remember this wrapper!"
And thus, the famous Orbit became the type of chewing gum with sugar introduced in wartime. This gum was supposed to replace the temporarily defunct main varieties. Having fulfilled its function, the Orbit was discontinued in 1946. But in 1976 the company introduced this variety again. This time in Germany, and like sugar-free gum. The success of the product led to the spread of Orbit across Western, Eastern Europe and the East. For over twenty years Orbit has been number one in these regions. Depending on the country, chewing gum is sold in a variety of shapes - sticks and pads - and in different flavors. Today the Orbit trademark is registered in 150 countries of the world.
After the end of the war, the supply of quality raw materials improved. In 1946, Wrigley's Spearmint appeared on the market again, a little later they launched the production of Juicy Fruit, and in 1947, Doublemint. And although the varieties were not sold at all in America for a couple of years, they quickly gained their pre-war popularity, and soon surpassed. Since then, the company has focused its main efforts on expanding sales markets. Representative offices in Asia and Europe were added to the existing factories. Today the company owns 15 factories, one of which was built in St. Petersburg in 1999.
In 1961, Philip Wrigley took over as chairman of the Board of Directors, and his son William became president. After Philip's death in 1977, the company was taken over by William Wrigley, who passed away in 1999. The business is now run by William Wrigley Jr., the great-great-grandson of the company's founder. Constantly seeking consumer feedback, in the mid-70s, the company introduced new varieties of chewing gum to the market: Freedent, Big Red with cinnamon and Hubba-Bubba. And in 1984, Extra sugar-free gum was released. These Wrigley products are currently popular in over a hundred countries around the world.