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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 5, May 2012, Posted On: 4/18/2012

Life Savers Celebrates 100th Anniversary At Wrigley Tennessee Plant

Tim Sanford
mints, Wrigley, Life Savers, Lifesavor candy, confection, Live Saver anniversary, Mars, Bruce VerBurg, Martin Radvan, Connect for a Cause, Life Savors Share Ring

Life Savers 100 years

CHATTANOOGA, TN -- Life Savers is celebrating its centennial this year, and marked the event with a ceremony at its production facilities here.

Wrigley's Chattanooga plant has nearly doubled its output with the completion of a $23.1 million expansion, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Wrigley bought the Chattanooga plant in 2005 as part of its $1.46 billion purchase of Kraft Foods' confectionery business.  And Mars Inc. bought Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. in 2008 for $28 billion. | SEE STORY

Wrigley executives participating in the festivities reported that the Life Savers sales continue to grow. "We look forward to the next 100 years of Life Savers," Martin Radvan, Wrigley's global president told the Times Free Press. "This is the start of what continues to be a successful journey."

The Chattanooga plant has boosted capacity to produce Life Savers sugar-mint flavors, including Pep-O-Mint, Wint-O-Green, Spear-O-Mint and Orange Mint.

"Some of the fastest growth in our history is happening on the business," Keller said. "Not only is this brand 100 years old, but it's still growing. If we keep growing, we'll have to build more facilities to expand Life Savers."

Bruce VerBurg, the plant's site director, said the factory now has 360 workers including seasonal employees. The plant also makes Altoids mints, which previously had been produced in the United Kingdom.

To commemorate its first century, Life Savers has launched a campaign called Connect for a Cause. Consumers can participate by entering a code imprinted on specially marked 100th Anniversary packages of Life Savers hard candies, mints and gummies at the program's website at LifeSaversShareRing.com.

 For every code entered, a $1 donation will be made to the charity chosen by each participant from 100 charities selected through a partnership with nonprofit JustGive, a destination for online charitable giving. The campaign will continue through Aug. 31.

"We're doing something special to spotlight the 100th birthday of Life Savers because we believe our fans deserve it," said John Starkey, director of confections for Wrigley. "For 100 years, people have used Life Savers as a token of sharing -- it's time to share with causes that matter to them."

The Life Savers mint was invented in 1912 by Clarence Crane. Edward Noble purchased the brand from Crane and formed Life Savers Candy Co. in 1913. He also devised the confection's distinctive foil packaging. | See 1912-2012 Timeline

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