Inventor’s Gum Keeps GI’s Awake

WBBM Newsradio 780:

A man from the Chicago area who spent much of his life developing new kinds of chewing gum is now using his expertise to help American troops serving in combat.

Retired chewing gum inventor Ron Ream is a former Wrigley Company inventor and Aurora native.

He began working with scientists at a Florida lab some years ago and discovered that a stick of gum containing caffeine provided an instant boost compared to a cup of coffee, an espresso shot or energy bars.

This past summer, after 10 years of research, Ream’s Plano, Ill. firm Marketright distributed a caffeine gum, available only to a very specific consumer: first-responders fighting the war in Iraq.

Ignited by a federal grant secured by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert back in 1998, Ream collaborated with scientists of the Walter Reed Army Institute to research the effects of a caffeine gum containing 100 mg of caffeine per piece. One piece has the caffeine content of a six-ounce cup of coffee.

Marketright firm has distributed 500,000 packages of Stay Alert Gum to the military so far, Ream said. The contract lasts two years.

Photo by Marketright.

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