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Wrigley UK suffers fall in profits as concerns mount about plastics in chewing gum

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Wrigley's Extra gum. Pic: Mars Wrigley Confectionery Ltd
Wrigley's Extra gum. Pic: Mars Wrigley Confectionery Ltd
Extra and Juicy Fruit maker Wrigley UK faces new pressure as drop in consumption of regular, non-biodegradable gum continues.

The dramatic shift in chewing gum’s popularity with consumers has dipped further with recent revelations that many of the traditional brands contain plastics​.

Category sales were already in decline before the news was leaked that most gum is made from synthetic polymers and plasticisers.

Pre-tax profits at Wrigley UK fell by a third last year to £34.4M ($43.7m) in the 52 weeks to December 30 2017, with sales at the confectionery and gum company falling by 2.7% to £249m ($320m) for the year, according to The Grocer​.

The UK’s food and drink bible reported that the chewing gum category as a whole lost 3.8% of its value sales, falling to £261m ($335m) last year.

Mars Wrigley Confectionery Ltd took full control of the The Wrigley Company in February 2018, after announcing plans in 2016 to merge the two companies​.

The Grocer also reported that UK discount food store Iceland has become the first retailer to introduce a plastic-free gum, called Simply Gum, made from chicle, a tree sap that is extracted from the sapodilla tree, as an alternative to the primary ingredient of most chewing gum.

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1 comment

Well deserved ..........greedy bastards !!!!

Posted by Christopher O' Malley,

I'm not surprised this is occurring as for this Company a modest profit is never enough. They want more and more from their people and their greed knows no boundaries. I worked for them in the good times and then when Mars took over, a total of 37 years and I have never seen a more profit driven organisation.
Their go to market strategy is completely flawed and those who are making the decisions have no experience in the Wrigley way. The reason we were so successful is because we put the customer first and old Bill Wrigley looked after his people. The best days of this Company are behind it and it looks like Mars paid top dollar to purchased a dog at the top of the market which is slowly going South.
I could fix their issues ongoing however their management is more concerned with their own survival and promotions than with hearing the truth and turning the ship around.
It couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch !!!!

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