Yes! The Mzansi’s iconic bubble gum which has been bringing people together with its fun flavours and quirky ‘Did You Know?’ has been around for that long.
Where It All Started
Chappies was created in the late 1940’s by Arthur Ginsburg at the Chapelat factory in the small Johannesburg suburb of Troyeville. His idea of including lists of ‘Did You Know?’ facts on the inside of each gum’s waxed paper wrapper turned the great-tasting, two-for-a-penny gum into a cultural phenomenon. The questions were sourced from popular Springbok Radio quiz show ‘The Three Wise Men’, starring Eric Rosenthal, Arthur Blexley and Dennis Glauber. The company later approached academics from WITS University for more lists of questions, with between 5 000 and 6 000 ‘Did You Know?’ facts generated in those early years – a significant pool of knowledge in the pre-Internet era!
Such was the popularity of the brand, that Chappies quickly became the country’s unofficial currency – few South Africans won’t have had the experience of being told to ‘take Chappies’ in lieu of a penny or half-penny’s change on making a purchase at a corner café or spaza, at some point in their childhood.
Chappies initially came in five flavours: lemon, orange, strawberry, cherry and pineapple, with the introduction of spearmint, peppermint, herbal, silver fruit (a mix of the five flavours) coming later. Seventy years on, there are five flavours to choose from: spearmint, assorted fruit, watermelon grape and cool cherry.
Trushann Thomas, brand manager for Mondelēz South Africa Category says “Celebrating 7 decades is an amazing milestone to reach and we couldn’t have done it without the generations of consumers who still feel an incredibly strong connection to the brand. The Chappies legacy continues to grow as those generations pass on their love for the bubble gum and the iconic ‘Did You Know?’ facts to the next – meaning that the brand remains as relevant as ever. We want to celebrate this significant milestone with everyone who’s been part of our journey for the past 70 years – and those who will pass on their love for Chappies to future generations”.