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Wrigleys – The Food Processing Giant

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About Wrigleys

The William Wrigley Jr. Company needs no introduction of its own. Every day we come across several of the products manufactured and marketed by Wrigley consumed by many. Wrigley is a part of food processing industry and was founded on April 1, 1891.

At the time of establishment, company dealt in selling household products like soap and baking powder though later in 1892 company indulged itself into one of the fastest growing industry, the packaging chewing gum industry. Company began packaging chewing gum with every can of baking powder which resulted in chewing gum eventually becoming more popular than baking powder itself. This was the time when Wrigley’s re-oriented the company totally and started to produce the popular chewing gum.

Wrigleys Today

At present, Wrigley’s is known to be a recognized leader in confections with a wide range of product offerings including gum, mints, hard and chewy candies, and lollipops. The company operates in more than 40 countries and has distribution in more than 180 countries thus making its presence felt globally. The company is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and has an employee base of over 17,000 associates globally. Martin Radvan is the current CEO of the company.  The company has 3 subsidiaries:

  • The Wrigley Company Ltd.
  • Amurol Confections Company
  • Northwestern Flavours, LLC

Popular Wrigley Products

  • Juicy Fruit,
  • Orbit,
  • WinterFresh,
  • DoubleMint,
  • Solano,
  • Airwaves,
  • LifeSavers,
  • Freedent,
  • Extra and many more

Mergers and Acquisition

Wrigley has been pretty active in expanding in operations and market by the help of inorganic growth i.e. the mergers and acquisition. Company in the year 2005, acquired the Life Savers and Altoids businesses from Kraft Foods for US$1.5 billion.

Later in January, 2007, it signed a purchase agreement to acquire a controlling stake to the tune of 80 percent in A. Korkunov for $300 million. Company also planned the acquisition of remaining 20% over the period of time.

Again in April 2008, the story was slight different and announcement of Mars Inc. acquiring Wrigley was made. Later after the financing provided by biggies like Berkshire Hathaway, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, Mars Inc. on October 6, 2008, successfully completed its acquisition of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. All shares of Wrigley Common Stock and Class B Common Stock were purchased for $80 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $23 billion after getting proper approval from the stockholders of Wrigley in September 2008.

Mars Inc.- The parent company of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company

Mars Incorporated is an American global manufacturer of confectionery, pet food, and other food products. The company had annual sales of over US$30 billion as of 2010 and ranked as the 3rd largest privately held company in the United States by Forbes. The company was founded in the year 1911 in USA. The company is owned by the Mars family and is headed by John Mars as the Chairman of the board. The company currently has over 70000 employees.

In the Indian market too, the company has gained a lot of attention with the advent of FDI in retail. The confectionery segment saw a new growth in the Indian Territory. The products of both Wrigley and Mars which includes the candies, chewing gums and confectionery items has sustained pretty well and is gaining lot of importance. It is expected that the company will soon target other emerging markets including India where it has low to no presence so as to create an impact of its products and grow in the market share. Though the company faces competition from Kraft Foods, Hersheys etc.

Also Read List of Top Food Processing Companies in India.



Niraj Satnalika

Niraj is an MBA in International Business (Finance). Prior to this he completed B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation. He is currently working with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Kolkata in capacity of Consultant. Satnalika is actively involved with an NGO and works towards promoting education among the underprivileged.

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