As the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup officially starts off, we look back at the nostalgia that once doubled the craze of the gentlemen’s game in India, just like Panini did (and continues to do) during the FIFA World Cup of 1970. A thread.

Although the first widely popular chewing gum had already taken the world by storm since the late 19th century, the first homemade chewing gum in India came not more than just five decades ago.

With children and youth, all obsessed with hard candies and toffees, Gum India Limited stepped into the challenging Indian market with ‘Big Fun’ – a pink, rectangular and extra sweet chewing gum that lacked two most critical features – softness and taste.

Despite the shortcomings, ‘Big Fun’ was able to attract the majority of children with its innovative marketing strategy. They made it clear that the gum is all about making bigger and bigger bubbles – “Bade bade bubble, bade aasan” – as they used to say in their ad campaigns.

They also taught how to make the bubbles in three simple steps, which turned this practice into a new obsession amongst the younger generation. The next step was a masterpiece that skyrocketed its sale overnight.

They followed a similar strategy like ‘Panini’ – the Italian comic book company that suddenly became world famous during the FIFA World Cup of 1970 when they published their first sticker album consisting of all the footballers participating in the tournament.

With the 1987 Cricket World Cup just around the corner, Big Fun started giving collectible cards free with every gum that had an image of a cricketer on the front and the runs, wickets taken, best bowling figures, highest score etc printed on the other side.

The strategy became an instant rage amongst the youth. The temptation to exchange duplicate cards and bragging about one’s collection made an entire generation fall in love with cricket with an extra intensity.

Although with the insurgence of Wrigley’s products, ‘Big Fun’ gradually became a thing of the past, however, the nostalgia with the collectible cards still remains fresh among Indian cricket fans. What’s your ‘Big Fun’ memory? Share with us in the comment section.


Echegaray, Luis Miguel & Carrolljun, Charlotte. “The Magic, Global Craze and Tradition of Panini’s World Cup Sticker Albums”.

Nix, Elizabeth. “Chew on This: The History of Gum”.

Chandna, Himani. “Big Fun: The bubble gum whose claim to fame was its freebie cricket cards”.

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