Can you believe that South Africa’s iconic bubble gum, Chappies, has been bringing consumers together with its fun flavours and quirky ‘Did You Know?’  fun facts for over 70 years? Well it has. 

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.

Did you know Chappies gum is celebrating its 70th birthday?. Picture: Facebook 

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.

“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,” said Mondelēz South Africa Category Brand Manager for Gum, Trushann Thomas.

“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,” added Thomas.


The 70th birthday celebration is not just about honouring one of the country’s longest-standing brands, but also sharing the party with loyal consumers in a #ChappiesBday competition. One lucky entrant stands the chance to win their very own Chappies-sponsored birthday celebration, worth R40 000! Fans also stand a chance to win 1 of 4 cool Chappies hampers which they can show off to their friends and family.

To stand a chance to win this epic prize, all you have to do is like the Chappies SA Facebook page and post your very own ‘Happy Birthday, Chappies!’ video  in the comment section with the hashtag #ChappiesBDay. Competition ends 1 November 2019 and T’s& C’s apply.