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GUM FIGHT; CADBURY'S BATTLE WITH STICK GIANTS A NEW gum war is about to be waged across the UK after Cadbury's announced plans to launch a rival brand of chewing gum to take on industry leaders Wrigley. The American firm have more than 95 per cent of the market here, but Cadbury are to launch Trident-already sold in Europe and the US - next year. So, it's time to get your teeth into the chewing gum story so far.

Byline: By Brian McIver

1 THE ingredients for each brand of gum vary from firm to firm, but include a chewy base of either tree resin, wax or synthetic materials, to which syrup, sugar and flavourings are added - or sweeteners for sugar-free gum.

2 THE chewing gum industry is expected to be worth more than pounds 10billion this year, and grew seven per cent in the last three years.

3 THERE are 980 million packs of chewing gum bought every year by 28 million people in the UK, about half of the British population.

4 LOCAL councils across the UK spend pounds 150m a year to clean discarded gum off the streets, using high-powered jet washers.

5 TURKEY is the largest producer in the world of chewing gum.

6 THE first commercial gum was launched in 1848, when John Curtis sold the State of Maine Spruce Chewing Gum, with two wads of gum costing a penny.

The main ingredient was the resin from a spruce tree.

7 CHEWING gum is one of the oldest habits in human civilisation. Ancient Mayans in Mexico used chicle sap from sapodilla trees, while the ancient Greeks used mastiche, derived from the resin of the mastic tree. Native Americans used spruce tree sap.

8 THE Wrigley company was founded by William Wrigley Jr in 1891, and originally sold soap.

He then moved onto baking powder, but when a promotional offer of two free sticks of gum with each tin proved that the gum was more popular than the powder, he switched to manufacturing gum.

9 WRIGLEY'S first two gum brands were Lotta and Vassar. Juicy Fruit and Spearmint were launched in 1893, Doublemint in 1914.

10 TRIDENT gum, launched in 1960, is the best-selling brand of chewing gum in the world, with annual sales of more than pounds 850m.

11 WILLIAM FINLEY SEMPLE filed the first patent for chewing gum on December 28, 1869, with the US patent office.

12 PARAFFIN wax was later used instead of spruce as the chewy base for his gum.

13 IN1871, Thomas Adams patented the first machine to produce gum on a large scale.

14 SINGAPORE created the world's strictest anti-chewing gum laws in 1992, banning it from sale and use in the country. A recent amendment made nicotine chewing gum legal.

15 CHEWING a stick of gum burns around 12 calories per hour.

16 THE first gum sold in sticks was liquorice-flavoured Black Jack Gum, created in 1880.

17 THE Wrigley company has 53 square miles of farmland in the USA solely for growing the mint for its minty gums.

18 IF the sticks of gum sold each year were laid end to end, they would circle the earth 19 times.

19 CHEWING gum grew in popularity during World War II as US troops used it to relieve stress and improve concentration.

They handed it out or traded their sticks around the world. US troops still get it free from the military today.

20 TO get stuck gum out of your hair, treatments include peanut butter to help it come apart and vegetable oil to slide it off. Bags of ice can freeze and harden the gum and solvents such as ethanol can help dissolve it.

21 FOR chewing gum on the clothes, freeze the clothing, which should make it harden and easy to pick off.

22 THE first bubble-gum invented was Blibber Blubber, created by Frank Fleer in 1906.But the first commercially successful brand was Dubble Bubble, launched in 1928.

23 SUSAN MONTGOMERY WILLIAMS, of Fresno, California, has the world record for the biggest bubble, with a diameter of 24 inches. It was blown in 1994.

24 NICOTINE chewing gum was invented in 1971 by Swedish drug firm Pharmacia. The gum was launched in Switzerland in 1978, and in 1984 SmithKline Beecham launched it in the US as Nicorette.


STICKY ISSUE: Local councils in the UK spend pounds 150m a year cleaning gum from the streets
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 1, 2006
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