The CEO of Wrigely has announced that the global confectionery company is aiming to further grow its company in the year ahead with a range of innovative new gum-based products and to develop its current non-gum business.
Speaking at a conference in the US yesterday, CEO William Wrigley Jnr, met with investors and analysts to detail the company's strategy and review business progress through the first nine months of the year and the company quest to extend its lead in the confectionery category.
"While we do not take this challenge lightly," said Wrigley, "We feel confident that we have the infrastructure and the strategic plan required to grow our leadership position in the chewing gum segment, while successfully expanding our business into other confectionery areas."
He outlined the six key choices on which the company's strategy is based which included boosting the gum business, developing the non-gum business, expanding geographical reach, focus on innovation, tightening quality and cost policies and developing its employees.
"They help us to set our course and sharpen our focus as we navigate within the dynamic confectionery marketplace," Wrigley said of the company's global workforce.
Wrigley noted that the company has made strides in each of these areas, and that Wrigley brands were continuing to maintain their leadership positions in key countries around the world, with share gains in the US, Europe and Asia.
The CEO also commented that the recent realignment of the company's leadership team was designed to better meet the demands of an evolving, global marketplace.
Although the company did emphasise that it wanted to expand its non-gum business through acquisitions, it refused to comment on any specifics. However executives did point to several recent acquisitions - as being proof of its acquisitive intentions.
Recent efforts to grow the business have concentrated on dental candies a range of new flavours for its Orbit brand, adding that flavour and format extensions of the Juicy Fruit brand are experiencing success in the United States, Canada and Asia.
The company will also open a state-of-the-art Global Innovation Center in Chicago in 2005. This facility will support the company's effort to innovate in product and packaging development, supply the R&D and product development people with new tools and bring the entire Innovation Team together in one place.
Wrigley is a recognised leader in the confectionery field and the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of chewing gum, with global sales of over $2.7 billion. The Company markets its world-famous brands in over 150 countries.