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Altoids are a brand of breath mints that have existed since the turn of the 19th century. Altoids are less popular in Britainmarker—their country of origin—than in the regions to which they are exported. Callard & Bowser-Suchard manufacture and produce Altoids at a plant in Bridgendmarker, Walesmarker, although Wrigley, the brand's owner, announced in mid 2005 they planned to move Altoids' production to an existing plant in Chattanooga, Tennesseemarker, in order to manufacture its products closer to where they are sold.

The history of Altoids dates back to the reign of King George III. The brand was created by a Londonmarker-based Smith & Company in the 1780s but eventually became part of the Callard & Bowser company in the 1800s. Their advertising slogan has been "The Original Celebrated Curiously Strong (insert flavour here) Mints" for a number of years, referring to the high concentration of peppermint oil used in the original flavour lozenge. The "Story of Altoids" text is printed on the paper liner inside certain tins.

The Story of Altoids

"The Story of Altoids" is a small story inside every pack of Altoids explaining their creation.

Many low power amateur radio projects, both in kit form and home made, have been designed to fit in an Altoids tin. The most well known example of which was the FOXX-3 transceiver based on original design by George Burt, GM3OXX that first appeared in the G-QRP club magazine SPRAT in 1983. Altoids tin is also a popular casing for the CMoy, a DIY Pocket Headphone Amplifier.

Altoids tins are also a very popular container used in the popular techno-game Geocaching because of its convenient size. Generally, magnets are glued to the bottom, so it will stay affixed underneath a magnetic object.


Callard and Bowser-Suchard was sold by Beatrice Foods to Terry's of York in 1982, which was then acquired by Kraft General Foods International/Philip Morris Tobacco Company in 1993. Wrigley's of Chicago agreed to buy the C&B and Life Savers units from Kraft in November 2004 for USD$1.48 billion after beating out competitors Hershey, Mars, Nestlé and Cadbury. The purchase was completed in June, 2005.Altoids is now owned by Mars, which acquired Wrigley's in October 2008.It was founded in 1932.

Flavors and varieties

A collection of Altoids tins
Matchboxes used as advertisement to promote new CINNAMON Altoids


Altoids mint are available in nine flavors: peppermint, wintergreen, spearmint, cinnamon, ginger, liquorice, chocolate, crème de menthe and cool honey. "Sugar-Free Smalls", tiny square mints sweetened with sorbitol and sucralose, are also available in peppermint, wintergreen, and cinnamon. In 2007, dark chocolate-dipped mints were introduced in three flavours: peppermint, cinnamon, and ginger. And in 2008, dark chocolate-dipped mints were introduced in crème de menthe.

Altoids Mints contain gelatin derived from pork, therefore they are not suitable for vegetarians or those following a halal or kosher diet.


Sour hard candies in round tins, introduced in 2002. Flavors include tangerine, raspberry, and mango. Citrus and Apple have been discontinued.


The sugar-free chewing gum, introduced in 2003, is made in the United Statesmarker. Flavors include peppermint, cinnamon, spearmint, wintergreen, and two sour flavors, cherry and apple.

Altoids Strips

In 2003, breath strips in peppermint and cinnamon flavours were introduced. They were discontinued and are no longer available.


Further reading

  • Grant, Jeremy. "New brands take a toll on Wrigley" Financial Times, London Ed. 26-Oct-2005, pg 27.
  • Terdiman, Daniel. "Altoids, the curiously strong tin; The container stylishly stores battery chargers, iPods and more." New York Times 2-Feb-2005.
  • "Wrigley to buy Altoids and Life Savers from Kraft." Candy Industry ISSN 0745-1032; Volume 169; Issue 11 1-Nov-2004.
  • What's News. The Wall Street Journal, Business and Finance, pg A1. 15-Nov-2004.
  • Pare, Mike. "Wrigley to invest $14M to make Altoids in its Chattanooga, Tenn., plant." Chattanooga Times/Free Press, Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. 23-Aug-2005.

External links

See also

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