NEW Short Startup Story: Wrigley 🍬
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William Wrigley Jr. was born in 1861, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he lived a pretty uneventful life. Thirty years later, he had an idea so he moved to Chicago, Illinois to start selling necessities such as baking powder and soap. The business was going okay but to incentivize people Wrigley would hand them free sticks of gum as they shop.
These free sticks of gum soon became even more popular than the actual products he was selling. Now, Wrigley Jr. was a natural entrepreneur with two main characteristics. First, he had an eye for business opportunities, and second he was courageous enough to take risk even when they made no sense at all. So he noticed the popularity of this gum and decided to take the risk and go all-in to create his own line of gum in 1893. This was during an economic depression where he introduced two brands: Wrigley's Spearmint and Juicy Fruit.
But Wrigley didn't stop there, in 1907, the economy dropped even lower and guess what Wrigley did? He mortgaged everything he had in order to fund a huge advertising campaign. That was the single risk that skyrocketed Wrigley into the national spotlight. And to understand just how entrepreneurial and innovative Wrigley was, they were the first ones to have a barcode on their product, and they were the first ones to put gum next to the cash register. And in 1915, Wrigley sent four packs of gum to every single person listed in the US phonebook.
Years later in 2008, the Mars company teamed up with Warren Buffett to acquire Wrigley for $23 billion. Today, Wrigley owns 56% of the gum market in the US followed by Mondalez and Hershey. Again the company is owned by Mars which has annual revenues over $35 billion and over 80,000 employees. And that's how Wrigley got started. Thank you for watching my video, if you enjoyed it please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Instagram @austindanielpatry.