Archive for the ‘Ford Gum & Machine Co., Inc.’ Category

Ford Gum LogoFord Gum and Machine Co., Inc. is the American manufacturer behind the beloved Big League Chew, as well as unique licensed products such as Mike & Ike Bubble Gum, Hot Tamales Sugar Free Gum, and Smarties Gumballs.

The story of Ford Gum began in 1913.

Back then, 20-year-old Ford Mason was a roofing contractor and supplemented his income during the winter months in Buffalo, NY, with gum vending. The first U.S. gum ball machine was invented in 1888, and just a handful of entrepreneurs had ventured into the business.

Ford borrowed money to lease 102 machines and placed them in stores and shops of communities in western New York State. As Ford gained more experience, he was convinced that the penny gum ball could support him. At his peak, Ford had more than 500,000 vending machines perched on store counters and pipe pedestals and a nationwide system of service operators.

Flash forward to 2012.

Ford’s legacy lives on at the Ford Gum & Machine Co., which still has a commercial vending business, but gum vending has shifted dramatically.

“At that time, everything vended for a penny. There are no more penny vending machines and the majority of items today are capsules and toys,” explains Steve Greene, senior VP of sales and marketing, Ford Gum and Machine Co., Inc. “If you look at an eight rack of vending machines today, you will see two or three that vend candy, one that vends gum, and the rest are toys and capsules.”

The majority of Ford Gum’s business today is in retail sales—either branded products that the company manufacturers and markets for itself, or private label products Ford Gum manufactures for other marketing concerns.

One of its biggest deals was the 2010 licensing agreement for the Big League Chew brand along with the manufacturing equipment from the Rob Nelson Company.

“This deal brought back the product manufacturing to the United States at the Ford Gum facility in Akron, N.Y., and added 40 new jobs,” says Steve.

Big League Chew actually came to market 32 years ago via minor league pitcher Rob Nelson and former New York Yankee All-Star, Jim Bouton. The two met while both pitching for the Portland Mavericks, and created the gum as an alternative to chewing tobacco. Brilliant!

The same pouch that Rob and Jim dreamed up in the Mavericks’ bullpen back in 1977, can now be personalized with photos and names at MyBigLeagueChew.com.


Steve says it’s a fairly new program for Ford Gum, but he’s seeing a lot of pouches customized as wedding and party favors, and used for birthday parties and team functions. ($48 for 12 pack.)

Thinking outside of the pouch, Ford Gum also launched individually wrapped Big League Gumballs and Big League Bubblegum Lollipops at the Sweets & Snacks EXPO in Chicago this past May.

Big League Chew Gumballs and Lollipops

Both products are available in the Big League Chew flavors: Outta Here Original, Grape, Sour Apple, and Watermelon. (This also happens to be the order of best-selling Big League Chew flavors.)

Ford Gum has come a long way since 1913, and we’re looking forward to the next chapter in innovative gum products. Bring it on Ford!

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Let’s be honest. There are some dud stocking stuffers. Finding a toothbrush poking out the top of your stocking or an orange bulging at the bottom does beg the question, “What was Santa thinking?”

To avoid an epic fail or, at the very least, a tiny teardrop on Christmas morning, here are five stocking stuffers with two important things in common:

• They are top sellers on Candy.com (a.k.a. proven winners)

• There’s something about each item that makes it special

You be the judge, though. Don’t take my word for it.

1. Sévigny’s Peppermint Ribbon Candy
What makes it special? This paper thin peppermint ribbon candy is made in Brockton, Mass., by the family-owned candy company, F.B. Washburn. It’s truly a rare gem that won’t break the bank! Each 4 oz. box is $2.95.


2. Zotz Strings
What makes this special? Zotz are 100% nostalgic fun. Imported from Italy, these hard candies have been around since 1968. (The “I Dream of Jeanie,” “Gilligan’s Island,” and “Addams Family” era.) The “fun” part comes from the candy’s surprise sour fizzy centers and getting a whole string of them. Zotz Strings are available in six fruit flavors, including apple, cherry, watermelon, lemon, grape, and orange.

3.  Mini Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike Gum Dispensers
What makes this special?
These 9.5-inch plastic bubbles dispense gum that’s shaped and flavored to match classic Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike candies. Put one of these on your desk and watch your office turn into Grand Central Station.

4. Baileys Chocolate Tube
What makes this special?
Baileys Irish Cream + Turin Chocolate + Alcohol-Free = Holiday Cheer For Everyone.  Plus, the 7-ounce chocolate-filled tubes fit perfectly in the neck of a stocking.


5. Candy.com Gift Cards
What makes this special?
It’s a convenient e-card that you simply print and drop in a stocking—and you can buy one for as little as $5. It also introduces friends and family to their own private Candy Land, which is way more fun than Walmart or Target. The best part? You don’t need to leave your house to get this sweet gift. ?

p.s. – If none of these ideas grab you, take a look at Candy.com’s Holiday Sweet Deals. Most of these Web Busters can be squeezed into a stocking. Last holiday tip: Take 10% off your entire Candy.com order today (Cyber Monday!) with webcode cyber10.

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