Before we get started with our product review, let's learn a little about Pine Brothers:
"Ulysses S. Grant was President, the population of America hovered at 39 million, and the telephone was still a pipe dream, when in 1870 J. Herman Pine hung out a confectionery shingle on 8th Street above Walnut in Philadelphia and, along with his brother, sold their first batch of what they called 'Pine Brothers Glycerine Tablets.' In an attempt to relieve his own sore throat and those of his family members, Mr. Pine, a former German confectionery maker, determined that by combining the soothing natural qualities of glycerin with the healing properties of gum acacia, he could sooth and mitigate the mild discomfort of a sore throat. Add in some natural flavoring and a sweetener and voila, Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops were born. "I have discovered something," Pine wrote, "which will give quick throat relief to thousands afflicted as I was." He added,"Perhaps I won't make much money out of this. But I can make people happy, and that's more important than money." Mr. Pine was being unduly modest, as his "discovery" would become one of the most successful, most delicious and most unique throat lozenges in the world. Nor has the recipe changed appreciably since it was first introduced to the public over 140 years ago.
In 1930 Pine Brothers was sold to the Life Savers Company and continued to flourish. Known for its 'soft drop consistency,' Pine Brothers lozenges became a favorite of adults and children alike. The product, which attracted healthiest sales in the eastern and northern states, due to its icy winters, reached its peak popularity in the 1970's. The company was sold by Life Savers, and then, having been re-sold and acquired a number of times, found itself essentially rudderless and under appreciated; this despite a legion of loyal consumers. Cost cutting changes were made to the original recipes, packaging became stale and marketing non-existent; Pine Brothers began to be made overseas. Sales declined.
Recently, Pine Brothers was acquired by the creator and former owner of Airborne, Victoria Knight-McDowell, for her new company 3 Sisters Home Products™. Much time and effort has been spent locating the original Pine Brothers recipes, redesigning the packaging, and creating an exciting yet classic new look. The natural product is once again being made in America, and is launching nationally in fall 2011. At which time old Mr. Pine, will succeed once again in "making people happy." God bless him!"
Do you remember Pine Brothers cough drops? I had never heard of them until being chosen to write a review. The cough drops actually arrived at my home when DH was in need of some lozenges. The timing was perfect and we were able to really test the drops.
The cough drops are small enough to fit comfortably in the middle of the tongue and roof of the mouth. They are "softish" and by that I mean they aren't hard like a normal cough drop but not as soft and squishy as a gummy candy. The flavor of each (wild cherry, natural honey, and licorice) is soothing. Beware that if you prefer the licorice one that your mouth will turn color as if you'd just eaten a string of black licorice! Which I totally found to be fun.
Getting back to the perfect timing of these drops, my adorable husband was auditioning for an upcoming musical and his throat was a bit dry and scratchy. One of these cough drops - not mediciny in flavor or smell - did the trick and he got one of the lead roles (unfortunately - according to him - not one of the supporting roles he was wanting). OK, I totally am bragging but I'm so proud of him.
Here's another testimonial to the quality of these drops: We were at a play this past weekend and a lady in the row in front of us was having a coughing spell. I pulled out the convenient round carry case and gave her a cough drop. Her coughing stopped right away and she was able to enjoy the rest of the play. After the play, the lady turned around and thanked us for the cough drop and wanted to know what brand they were because she hadn't had a cough drop work like this did.
My personal findings were that the semi-softness of the drops was enjoyable but I didn't care for the sugar, corn syrup and dyes (dyes - Blue #2, Yellow #6 and Red #40 - found in the licorice drops). Then again, most cough drops have sugar and corn syrup and the sugar-free drops have all kinds of other ingredients. So as far as cough drops are concerned, I would purchase Pine Brothers. I like that they use natural flavors and sunflower oil. I also like that my breath didn't smell like medicine.
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