Doublemint, Juicyfruit and Big Red are among the best-known brands in gum. As the competition heats up, those popular names continue to dominate as Wrigley keeps a tight hold of the market. Believe it or not, Wrigley didn’t begin as a gum company at all. They learned early on that it’s ok to pivot.
Wrigley has been around for 110 years, long enough to consider the company a national treasure. Its many years of existence are due to the high quality gums the company has offered to the market. Wrigley Jr. Company is currently supplying almost 50% of the chewing gum sold in the U.S. It also holds the largest part of the gum market in Europe, owning nearly 50% of the gum profits earned in the region.
Other huge brands under Wrigley’s are Alpine, Extra, Eclipse, Orbit, Airwaves and P.K. it’s subsidiary, Armurol Confections Company also produced gums and confectionary products intended for youths and adults. Among its products that stood out in the market are Bubble Tape, Squeeze Pop, Velamints, Big League Chew and Hubba Bubba Sweet Roll.
William Wrigley Jr., the person behind Wrigley’s success, started out working in the soap factory after being kicked out from school several times. It was his father who put him into the factory, seeing if he could find his luck there. Wrigley has been stirring soap for a year, earning only $1.50 a week. He performed well and was promoted to a sales staff position.
Wrigley Jr. quickly earned skills and was able to sell tons of soap. However, every business has its downspin. His father’s “washed up” soap company started including gum with the soap to help increase sales. Wrigley discovered huge potential in selling chewing candy. His big hit on this new line of business started when he offered Juicy Fruit and Wrigley’s Spearmint to the market. The huge success of both brands encouraged him to go on manufacturing chewing gum. Eventually, they dropped the soap and stuck with the massively popular gum.
Wrigley’s gum business was a huge success not only because of the current status of the industry, but also because of the advertising strategies that he started applying. He created a campaign that motivated more individuals to buy. As a result, Wrigley’s market share extended not just to a single region, but to the whole nation. It multiplied his sales and moved his brand to the top rank. Wrigley’s Spearmint turned out to be the biggest-selling brand in the country.
From then on, Wrigley developed marketing and advertising techniques to increase the popularity of his chewing gum.
The company understood that it’s ok to pivot. From the 1890s to present day, Wrigley’s chewing gum product line is still a staple in the market. Consumers are still buying Wrigley’s gums regardless of the company’s decision to change direction and take a risk at trying something new. Wrigley’s plan for a major expansion has made its competitors and other players in the business curious as to what pivoting techniques Wrigley will be using next.