In the mid-1930s and fresh out of school, Arthur Ginsberg started working at the Chapelat Sweets factory, a short walk from his home in Troyeville, Johannesburg.
At night he studied for his BComm degree at Wits University and by the late 1940s he had worked his way up to head of sales and marketing.
The Chapelat factory produced a wide range of confectionery, from expensive chocolates to cheap toffees, their biggest client being OK Bazaars until the popular shopping store bought Turnwrights, a confectionery supplier which left Chapelat with a big financial gap to fill, they needed new revenue and new products.
Ginsberg researched the market. “I noticed that Wicks bubble gum was selling at a penny each. I wondered about making a gum that sells two for a penny.”
They experimented with a bubble gum base from the US, added a few additives, colourants and sugars and Chappies was born, the name an abbreviation of the company name Chapelat.
Ginsberg was a great believer in marketing and advertising and decided to make the new brand attractive to children by adding 4 did you know questions on the inside of the wrapper. All the initial questions came from the Springbok Radio show, Three Wise Men, and later academics from Wits University compiled more.
Arthur Ginsberg was also the first person to take advertising in the form of a cartoon in the Sunday Times every week promoting Chappies.
By the late 1970s Chappies was a popular brand and household name and in 1989 they officially sold to Cadbury’s who still own the brand to this day.
Pics source: http://www.kaffeinmagazine.co.za