William Wrigley Jr. came to Chicago from Philadelphia in the spring of 1891. He was 29 years old, had $32 in his pocket and unlimited enthusiasm and energy. He also had great talent as a salesman.
Because his father was a soap manufacturer, Mr. Wrigley started his new business in Chicago selling Wrigley's Scouring Soap. As an extra incentive to merchants, Mr. Wrigley offered premiums. He knew his customers would be more likely to carry Wrigley's soap if they received a little "something for nothing." One of these premiums was baking powder. When baking powder proved to be more popular than soap, he switched to the baking powder business.
Then, one day in 1892, Mr. Wrigley got the idea of offering two packages of chewing gum with each can of baking powder. The idea was a big success. Once again the premium - chewing gum - seemed more promising than the product it was promoting.
At that time, there were at least a dozen chewing gum companies in the United States, but the industry was relatively undeveloped. Mr. Wrigley realized that chewing gum was the product with the potential he had been looking for, so he began marketing it under his own name. His first two brands were called Lotta and Vassar. Juicy Fruit® gum came next in 1893, and Wrigley's Spearmint® was introduced later that same year.