When I was a kid my grandmother always gave me the Pine Bros. throat drops. It is still a fond memory to this day. But as I got older I had not seen them around anywhere. I had to resort to throat drops that tasted nasty (without mentioning any brand names – you all know who you are). I can’t remember ever going to my grandmothers and not having them available.
I grew up with the original cherry flavor… It was my absolute favorite. I had been known to even fake a sore throat a time or two – they were just that good!
Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops – their road to current day:
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 was launched nationally in fall 2011. At which time old Mr. Pine, will succeed once again in “making people happy.” God bless him!
This year they have developed a couple new flavors – Sugar Free Wild Cherry and Vitamin C Orange. I have definitely been keeping the Vitamin C Orange handy heading into this colder weather. The Sugar Free Wild Cherry also tastes delicious – almost exactly like the original formula. This is great news for the diabetics in our house!
I can honestly tell you that I tried to see if this tasted or felt any differently than it did way back then – and it all seemed the same (making me even miss my grandmother). The taste in all flavors is not overwhelming – it is mellow with just a touch of sweetness. My favorite is the Wild Cherry (regular and sugar free) but I also love the Lemon Citrus, Vitamin C Orange and the Honey Lemon. When the products arrived I actually had a sore throat – for some time actually – so was looking forward to any type of relief I could get. These drops rose to the challenge and eased my sore throat. If you have never had them – they are not soft like gummy bears. That is why they are referred to as “softish”. They are not quite hard either. They are sort of like a tough taffy. At first they seem hard but once you suck on them a few minutes they soften up. Just like I remembered. If you try to chew them they will stick to your teeth – also just like a remembered. My kids also love these so much.
Don’t forget to like Pine Bros on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. You will have access to a great number of contests, giveaways and deals.
I received payment, product(s) or services in exchange for an honest opinion. I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or I believe would be helpful for my readers. The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. Your experience with the product(s) or service(s) may differ from mine.