MentholatumThe Mentholatum Company, Inc. TypeSubsidiary Founded Wichita, Kansas(1889) Headquarters Orchard Park, New YorkKey people Akiyoshi Yoshida, CEO; James Ingham, CFO; Taffy Collopy, Public RelationsIndustryPersonal Care Products ProductsCosmetics, PharmaceuticalsRevenue$31.6 Million (est. 2007) WebsiteMentholatum Corporate Website
The Mentholatum Company, Inc., (Katakana: メンソレータム, Traditional Chinese: 曼秀雷敦) founded in 1889 by Albert Alexander Hyde, is a maker of non-prescription health care products. It was bought out by Rohto Pharmaceutical Co., a Japanese health care company, in 1988. The Metholatum Company is widely associated with its top three products, the Mentholatum Ointment, Mentholatum Deep Heating Rub, and Mentholatum Lip Care.
- 1 Background
- 2 Brand Families
- 3 List of Subsidiaries
- 4 List of Primary Competitors
- 5 External links
- 6 References
- 7 Further Reading
The Beginning (1889-1935)
The beginning of The Mentholatum Company started when Albert Alexander Hyde left the real estate market in 1889. With the collapse of the market, Hyde established a new partnership called The Yucca Company, located in Wichita, Kansas, which focused on manufacturing and marketing shaving creams, laundry soap, and toilet soap. The Yucca Company was the beginning of The Mentholatum Company.
When The Yucca Company started manufacturing a cough syrup containing a blend of camphor and menthol, named Vest Pocket Cough Specific, Hyde became intrigued by the soothing and inflammatory effects of menthol. After years of research and experimentation, the company introduced the original "Mentholatum Ointment" in December 1894, which consisted of a combination of menthol and petrolatum. In 1903, Hyde moved the head office and factory to Buffalo, New York, and in 1906, The Yucca Company officially adopted the name "The Mentholatum Company," after its flagship product. edited 3-11-08 "In 1903, Hyde opened a second office in Buffalo, New York, to handle sales and distribution east of the Mississippi. In 1906, The Yucca Co. officially incorporated the name "The Mentholatum Company" after its flagship product. In 1909 a new factory was built in Wichita and in 1919 a second factory was built in Buffalo. The Wichita factory was closed after the death of A. A. Hyde in 1935 and the corporate offices were moved to Wilmington, Delaware in 1937 and later to Buffalo in 1945."
Japanese Expansion and Acquisition (1913-1988)
The products of the company spread to Japan through the missionary work of the American, William Merrell Vories. When Vories acquired the rights to sell Mentholatum products in 1920, he began importing and selling the product in Japan under the name, "Menturm," which in turn, was marketed through a company called The Omi Sales Company. Business continued to thrive in Japan even after Vories died in 1964.
In 1974, the giant Japanese pharmaceutical company based in Osaka known as Rohto Pharmaceutical Co. set its eyes on The Mentholatum Company. In August 1975, it acquired the trademark rights to Mentholatum and began to sell the Mentholatum Ointment and Mentholatum Medicated Lip Stick, which proved to be a financial success as the company's revenue skyrocketed to ¥2.64 billion by April of 1981.
Rhoto Pharmaceuticals continued to acquire the management rights to The Mentholatum Company Inc in June 1988, thus completing the merge.
International Expansion (1988-present)
In October 1991, The Mentholatum Zhongshan Pharmaceuticals was founded in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, China, as a joint venture company as well as the headquarters for Chinese expansion. In May 1996, Mentholatum's eye drops began local production and sales in China. P.T. Rhoto Labratories, Indonesia and a new Tokyo Branch Office was also established in September and December of 1996, respectively.
In 1998, Mentholatum moved to its current headquarters on Sterling Drive in Orchard Park, New York. In mid-1999, the company released a new eye product called Zi, which is designed to cool and refresh the eyes with natural camphor and pH-balanced purified water solution. Later that year, Zi for Eyes was named "Best New Eyecare Product" in the 1999 Superdrug Health & Beauty Awards. The company continued to manufacture new products, such as Migraine Ice (chill pads for migraine sufferes), Softlips Lip Protectant, Deep Heating Rub, Natural Ice Medicated Lip Balm, Pain Patch, Fisherman's Friend cough drops, Fletcher's Castoria, Red Cross Toothache Remedy, Red Cross Canker Sore Medication, and of course, its original Mentholatum Ointment. By the end of 1999, Mentholatum alone had roughly more than $150 million worth of annual sales.
Today, the company spans internationally across the globe and sells its products in more than 130 countries. Mentholatum acquired the OXY Skin Care product line from GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) in December 2005,  and targeted the younger, contemporary teen audience. The company further acquired the Phisoderm brand from Chattem Inc. (NASDAQ:CHHT) for $9.6 Million in November 30th, 2005. 
The Metholatum Company's products are grouped by families in the United States. 
- Pain Management
- WellPatch Migraine Cooling Pads
- WellPatch Heat Warming Pads
- WellPatch Pain Relieving Pads
- Mentholatum Deep Heating
- Lip Care
- Softlips Lip Protectant
- Natural Ice Medicated Lipbalm
- Eye Care
- Rohto Eye Drops
- Rohto V for Eyes
- Rohto Z for Eyes
- Rohto Eye Drops
- Cough & Cold
- Mentholatum Ointment
- Mentholatum Cherry Chest Rub for Kids
- Oral Care
- Red Cross Toothache Medication
- Red Cross Canker Sore Medication
- Fletcher's Laxatives
List of Subsidiaries
- Mentholatum (Asia Pacific) Ltd. (Hong Kong)
- Mentholatum Australasia Pty. Ltd.(Australia)
- The Mentholatum Company Ltd. (UK)
- The Mentholatum Company of Canada, Limited
- Mentholatum de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.
- Mentholatum Pharmeceuticals P.V.E. Limited (India)
- Mentholatum South Africa (Pty.) Ltd.
- Mentholatum Taiwan Ltd. (Taiwan)
- The Mentholatum (Zhongshan) Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. ( China)
- PT Rohto - Mentholatum (Indonesia)
- Rohto - Mentholatum (Malaysia) SDN BHD.
- Rohto - Mentholatum Thailand Ltd.
List of Primary Competitors
- Procter & Gamble
- Abbott Labs
- Johnson & Johnson
- Mentholatum - The Official Global Corporate Website
- Mentholatum - The Official US Corporate Website
- Mentholatum - The Official Canadian Corporate Website
- OXY - The Official US Website
- OXY - The Official Canadian Website
- OXY - The Official Australian Website
- OXY - The Official UK Website
- Soft Lips - The Official US Website
- Soft Lips - The Official Canadian Website
- Soft Lips - The Official Australian Website
- Soft Lips - The Official UK Website
- Rohto Eye Drops - The Official US Website
- ^ Mentholatum buys GlaxoSmithKline unit - Business First of Buffalo:
- ^ Mentholatum buys Phisoderm brand - Business First of Buffalo:
- ^ Brands of Mentholatum USA
A book was just published called, "Amazing Mentholatum: and the Commerce of Curing the Common Cold, 1889-1955". The author is Alex Taylor, the great grandson of Albert Alexander Hyde, inventor of Mentholatum and founder of The Mentholatum Company. The book also, "tracks the evolution of modern advertising as practiced by the Mentholatum Company from 1889-1955".Categories: Pharmaceutical companies
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