Poughkeepsie Born Business Planning a Big Comeback
The Smith Brothers Cough Drop was born in Poughkeepsie back in 1847. Now those bearded brothers are ready for a comeback.
William and Andrew Smith came up with their famous cough drops by accident when they realized the cotton candy they were selling in Poughkeepsie had some medicinal properties. After ditching the cotton candy and rebranding as a "cough candy," Smith Brothers quickly become the first and biggest cough drop company in the Country.
At the time, the cough drop factory was the driving force behind Poughkeepsie's economy. But in 1963 the company was purchased by a pharmaceutical company and eventually moved to Chicago after changing hands again in 1972.
Smith Brothers Cough Drops have been around since, but started to lose business as Halls, Riccola and other brands have taken over most of the market share. There were several failed attempts at re-branding the company, like this cheezy promotional video from 2013.
None of the marketing ideas seemed to work as the company began to lose more and more money. In October of 2015 the Chicago plant was finally shut down and production was halted.
However, there is now new hope for the Smith Brothers. The New Hampshire Business Review reports that LanesHealth purchased the Smith Brothers brand in May. The UK-based company says they have plans of reviving the bearded brothers' products and have already begun working on a marketing strategy.
The company has not revealed specifics about the campaign, but said this in a press release.
LanesHealth has had good success in helping heritage brands regain market share and appeal to consumers looking for tried-and-true products to treat common ailments... We believe Smith Bros. fits nicely with our Jakemans Throat & Chest Lozenges as an alternative for consumers seeking relief in products that have been proven to work for generations.
So stay tuned and watch as a Poughkeepsie-born business takes on the big guys in hopes of recapturing some of their success as the country's largest cough drop company.