Life Savers is turning 100, and to celebrate the company is taking its brand name seriously with a charity campaign.
Since their introduction in 1912, Life Savers mints have come a long way. And now the Wm. Wrigley Co.-owned candy is planning to celebrate its centennial by giving back to the customers who brought them there in the first place.
As part of its “Connect for a Cause” campaign, the newly released “100th Anniversary” packages of Life Savers hard candies, mints and gummies will contain codes allowing consumers to donate to their favorite charities.
“We’re doing something special to spotlight the 100th birthday of Life Savers because we believe our fans deserve it,” says John Starkey, director of confections at Wrigley, which acquired the brand in 2004. “For 100 years, people have used Life Savers as a token of sharing – it’s time to share with causes that matter to them.”
For every code entered online, a $1 donation will be made through JustGive, a nonprofit group that facilitates online charitable giving, to a charity chosen by the participant. The program, which will continue until Aug. 31, allows participants to choose from 100 charities.
The company also celebrated with a party at Wrigley’s Chattanooga, Tenn. factory, where Life Savers mints are produced. Both Wrigley employees and executives celebrated the centennial, as well as the factory’s recent expansion.
Life Savers have had a rich history since their introduction 100 years ago. The mints were born in the summer of 1912, when chocolate-maker Clarence A. Crane decided to create a candy that could withstand the summer heat.
Shortly after, he invented the original Pep O Mint flavor, and called the ring-shaped mints “Life Savers” because they looked like tiny life preservers. One year later, Edward Noble founded the Life Savers Candy Co. and began using the distinctive tin foil roll pack to distribute the mints.
And this isn’t the first time the candy company has given back. During WWII, the Armed Forces were supplied with 23 million boxers of Life Savers. The confection was were packed into soldiers’ filed ration kits as a reminder of home. To keep the mints in production during this period, other candy manufacturers even donated their sugar rations to the company.
Today, the Life Savers brand encompasses mint, gummy, and hard candies. The mints come in flavors such as Wint O Green, Pep O Mint, and Spear O Mint while the hard candies’ flavors include the iconic “5 Flavors” variety, a Life Savers staple since 1935, and Butter Rum flavor, in production since 1938.
If the name reflects anything about the brand, the ring-shaped mints will continue to be just what customers need for many years to come.