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Wrigley Company

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Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
Company typeSubsidiary
FoundedApril 1, 1891; 133 years ago (1891-04-01)
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
The Wrigley Building, former HQ

The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, known as the Wrigley Company, is an American multinational candy and chewing gum company, based in the Global Innovation Center (GIC) in Goose Island, Chicago, Illinois.[1]

Wrigley's 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 over 180 countries and districts, operates in over 50 countries, and has 21 production facilities in 14 countries.[6]


William Wrigley Jr., the founder of the 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 Central 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.

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, Incorporated 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[edit]

1891–1932: William Wrigley Jr.[edit]

Advertisement for three flavors of Wrigley’s chewing gum (1920)

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, prompting another switch in product focus. Wrigley also became the majority owner of the Chicago Cubs in 1921.

1932–1961: Philip K. Wrigley[edit]

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.[9] Wrigley's P.K. brand was named after P.K. Wrigley.[15]

1961–1999: William Wrigley III[edit]

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.[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[edit]

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 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.[9]

2006–2008: William Perez[edit]

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 United States. 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.[9]

2008–2011: Dushan "Duke" Petrovich[edit]

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]

2011–2017: Martin Radvan[edit]

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]

2017 to present: Andrew Clarke[edit]


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



Wrigley's Extra Gum brand

The Wrigley Company Ltd., Estover, Plymouth, UK

Alpine Gum[edit]

Alpine Gum was a gum made by Wrigley's, and was only sold in Canada. It is an alternative to cough syrup. It cools the throat and relieves sore throat pain. Alpine was discontinued in 2005.[citation needed]

Alert Gum[edit]

In 2013, Wrigley temporarily halted production and sales of its new Alert energy gum after the US Food and Drug Administration said it would investigate the safety of added caffeine in food products.[23]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ "FAQ". Wrigley. Archived from the original on January 22, 2018.
  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. ^ "Favourite Croatian Candies | Croatia Week". March 6, 2017.
  20. ^ The Advertising Red Books. LexisNexis. 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  21. ^ "Mars shifts confectionery brands to Wrigley". www.campaignlive.co.uk.
  22. ^ Manufacturing Confectioner (in Spanish). 1999. p. 28. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  23. ^ Jalonick, Mary Clare. "APNewsBreak: Wrigley halts caffeinated gum". AP News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2020.

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