Wrigley’s Canada announced yesterday it will be closing its Toronto plant by March 2016 and moving to Gainsville, Ga.
The plant at Leslie Street and Eglinton Avenue East, open since 1963, will put 383 people out of work.
“We reviewed a number of considerations for the Toronto Factory but after careful analysis, we believe that our long term business needs are best met by operating our two facilities in the U.S.,” Wrigley’s spokesperson Michelle Lefleur said.
Since 2010, while gum prices have gone up, sales have gone down. People are just chewing less gum.
Market researcher Euromonitor ties the decline to the recession and the preference for power mints.
Euromonitor also says gum companies have not been reaching to young audiences. It also reports that the decline is mainly due to parents not allowing their children to chew bubble and sugarized gum.
“There is not one specific cause of the declines in gum and of late, we are seeing improvements in the category that are promising and the core of our brands are growing,” Lefler said.
Wrigley’s released a micro-pack of Excel in 2013, six sticks for $0.69, in an effort to increase sales.
The miniature trend is also taking hold in the sugar confectionary category where sales have stayed flat since 2013.
Some might remember Chris Brown’s hit son”Forever” from 2008. The song is actually an extended Doublemint jingle. It features the Doublemint tagline “double your pleasure, double your fun.” According to the Wall Street Journal, the song was produced and paid for by Wrigley’s in an effort to increase its appeal to a younger market. The campaign also featured singer Ne-yo and Julianne Hough of Dancing With the Stars fame.
According to the Toronto Star, the plant will carry out three phases until its closure next year.