Wrigley’s is wholly owned by Mars, Incorporated, and, along with Mars chocolate bars and other candy products, makes up Mars Wrigley Confectionery. It is the largest manufacturer and marketer of chewing gum in the world.
The company currently sells its products in over 180 countries and districts, operates in over 50 countries, and has 21 production facilities in 14 countries.
History of Wrigley Company
The company was founded on April 1, 1891, in Chicago, Illinois by William Wrigley Jr. Wrigley’s gum was traditionally made out of chicle, sourced largely from Latin America. In 1952, in response to Decree 900, land reforms attempting to end feudal working conditions for peasant farmers in Guatemala, Wrigley’s discontinued purchasing chicle from that country. 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.
In 2005, Wrigley purchased Life Savers and Altoids from Kraft Foods for US$1.5 billion. 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, Incorporated announced that it would acquire Wrigley for approximately $23 billion. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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, prompting another switch in product focus. Wrigley also became the majority owner of the Chicago Cubs in 1921.
1932–1961: Philip K. Wrigley
After William Wrigley Jr. died, 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. Wrigley’s P.K. brand was named after P.K. Wrigley.
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 by establishing Wrigley facilities in nine new countries. 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.[ (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. 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. 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. Wrigley helped establish 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.
2006–2008: William Perez
On October 23, 2006, William D. Perez (1948–) succeeded Bill Wrigley as CEO, becoming 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 “How it feels to chew 5 Gum.” Perez led the efforts of improving slimmer packaging (Slim Pack) with flavor improvements across both Extra and Wrigley brands.
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.
2011–2017: 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.
2017 to present: Andrew Clarke
- The Wrigley Company Limited
- Amurol Confections Company
- Northwestern Flavors, LLC
- Juicy Fruit (1893)
- Spearmint (1893)
- Doublemint (1914)
- Freedent (1975)
- Big Red (1975)
- Hubba Bubba (1979)
- Extra (1984)
- Winterfresh (1994)
- Orbit (reintroduced 2001)
- Eclipse (2001)
- 5 (2007)
- Excel Mist
- Excel White
- Extra Professional
- Extra Professional White
- Hubba Bubba
- Juicy Fruit
The Wrigley Company Ltd., Estover, Plymouth, UK
- Hubba Bubba
- Juicy Fruit
- Rondo – a mint flavored candy brand owned by Wrigley Company. It was, prior to 2008, a brand of parent company Mars Incorporated.
- Wrigley’s Spearmint
Additional products and brands
- Big Boy
- Big G
- Big League Chew (until November 2010)
- Bubble Tape
- Cool Air
- Hubba Bubba
- Life Savers
- Gummi Savers
- Life Saver Minis
- Life Saver Fusions
- Creme Savers
The Wrigley Building is a skyscraper located at 400–410 North Michigan Avenue on Chicago’s Near North Side. It is located on the Magnificent Mile directly across Michigan Avenue from the Tribune Tower. Its two towers in an elaborate style were built between 1920 and 1924 to house the corporate headquarters of the Wrigley Company. Its bright white facade is covered in terra cotta.
Wrigley Field (Los Angeles)
Wrigley Field was a ballpark in Los Angeles, California. It hosted minor league baseball teams in the region for more than 30 years. It was the home park for the minor league Los Angeles Angels during their run in the Pacific Coast League, as well as for the inaugural season of the major league team of the same name in 1961. The park was designed by Zachary Taylor Davis, who had previously designed both of the Major League Baseball stadiums in Chicago: Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field. The ballpark was also used as the backdrop for several Hollywood films about baseball, as well as the 1960 TV series Home Run Derby.
USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies
The USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies is an environmental research and education facility run by the University of Southern California. It is an organized research unit that encompasses a wide range of faculty and topics across the university as well as operating a marine laboratory at the edge of Two Harbors, California on Catalina Island approximately 22 miles (35 km) south-southwest of Los Angeles.
The USC Wrigley Institute has specialized programs in environmental microbiology, geobiology, ocean biogeochemistry, living marine resources (including fisheries and aquaculture), climate change, coastal environmental quality and the urban ocean. The Institute is also home to the USC Sea Grant Program, part of the National Sea Grant Program through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Wrigley Rooftops is a name for the sixteen rooftops of residential buildings which have bleachers or seating on them to view baseball games or other major events at Wrigley Field. Since 1914 Wrigley roofs have dotted the neighborhood of Wrigleyville around Wrigley Field, where the Chicago Cubs play Major League Baseball. Venues on Waveland Avenue overlook left field, while those along Sheffield Avenue have a view over right field.
The rooftops had always been a gathering place for free views of the game, but until the 1980s, the observers were usually just a few dozen people watching from the flat rooftops, windows and porches of the buildings, with “seating” consisting of a few folding chairs, and with little commercial impact on the team. When the popularity of the Cubs began to rise in the 1980s, formal seating structures began to appear, and building owners began charging admission, much to the displeasure of Cubs management, who saw it as an unreasonable encroachment.
Various methods of combating this phenomenon were discussed. The idea of a “spite fence“, as with Shibe Park in Philadelphia, or the Cubs’ previous home, West Side Park, was discussed. The idea was not implemented, nor was it fully abandoned. Before Opening Day in 2002, a “wind screen” was temporarily erected on the ballpark’s back screen behind the outfield wall, obscuring some of the view from Wrigley roofs.
When the majority were independent of Cub affiliate ownership prior to 2016, the Wrigleyville Rooftops Association’s members were the 16 rooftop venues. Wrigley Rooftops is the Ricketts family’s marketing arm and brand for their rooftop holdings through Greystone Sheffield Holdings and Hickory Street Capital
- Official website
- Company profile at Yahoo!
- Alpine Throat Relief Gum at the Wayback Machine (archived February 5, 2002)
Wrigley Square is a public square located in the northwest section of Millennium Park in the Historic Michigan Boulevard District of the Looparea of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The square is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of East Randolph Street and North Michigan Avenue. It contains the Millennium Monument, a nearly full-sized replica of the semicircle of paired Roman Doric-style columns (called a peristyle) that originally sat in this area of Grant Park, near Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street, between 1917 and 1953. The square also contains a large lawn and a public fountain.