From Scouring Soap to Chewing Gum- William Wrigley Jr. and His Freebies

Most people who have enjoyed chewing sticks of Juicy Fruit chewing gum probably assume that the manufacture and sale of gum was founder William Wrigley, Jr.’s only business. He actually started out by selling a product called Scouring Soap, which he would entice customers to purchase by adding a free gift of baking powder. The baking powder ended up being more popular than the Scouring Soap, so he switched to selling the baking powder instead. In 1892, Wrigley decided to give his baking powder customers a free gift, this time attaching a few sticks of chewing gum to the box of baking powder. The chewing gum was far more popular than the baking powder, so Wrigley again switched his business, this time to chewing gum. In 1893, he introduced a new flavor of gum: Juicy Fruit. It was a hit, and today the Wrigley Company has an estimated net worth of $582 million. In case you’re wondering which fruit serves as the model for Juicy Fruit’s flavor, it’s a highly guarded secret. Most people say it’s a combination of banana and pineapple, while others say it’s jackfruit or peach.