Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.: Growing Innovation

High sales growth (12% annually since 1999), coupled with a high percentage of revenue from new products (20%), led the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. to open a Global Innovation Center on Sept. 13, 2005.

Located on Goose Island in Chicago, the 153,000 square-foot main building houses flexible laboratory and office space, with a 40,000 square-foot pilot plant located adjacent to the main building. The total investment in the facility stands at $45 million. The pilot plant's mission is to test new products, refine new formulas and drive fast commercialization of cutting-edge confectionery products.

"As a company, we have established a track record of innovation as a key driver of our success," said Bill Wrigley Jr., CEO, in a Sept. 13, 2005, press release. "For us, it's not just about how many new products we launch -- it's about delivering products and solutions that truly add value, create excitement in the marketplace and have long-term sustainability.

"Over the past four years, the contribution from new products has averaged nearly 20% of Wrigley's global sales, up significantly from the 5%-6% rate of the late 1990s. As a result of this activity and other strategic business moves, the company's sales growth has averaged 12% since 1999, more than double the rate of the previous five-year period."

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