Hall’s is the leading sugar confectionery brand in the world. How did a Lancastrian cough drop conquer the global market?
Thomas Harold Hall (born 1872) and Norman Smith Hall (1874 – 1946) were the sons of a Radcliffe, Lancashire millwright. They established a partnership as jam manufacturers at the State Confectionery Works on Stanley Road, Whitefield, Lancashire in 1893.
Production had been extended into boiled sweets by 1901. Hall Brothers was incorporated as a public company in 1912, with the two brothers as joint-managing directors.
Caramel production began after the First World War. Jam manufacture ceased in 1924. The Hall’s Mento-lyptus trademark was first registered in 1927.
T H Hall retired in 1926, and N S Hall continued as sole managing director. N S Hall held the office until his death in 1946. He was succeeded by his son, Roland Fletcher Hall (1901 -1969).
Hall Brothers (Whitefield) Ltd had a fully paid capital of £100,000 in 1953. They specialised in boiled sweets and caramels, and Hall’s “Mentho-lyptus tablets” were the principal product. 185 people were employed.
Hall’s cough drops were introduced to the United States in the 1950s.
A fire destroyed the Whitefield factory in the early 1960s, and the site was rebuilt.
In 1961 sales were extended into London and the Home Counties. By 1962 over 20 percent of sales were in export markets.
Attracted to its strong growth, Warner Lambert, an American pharmaceuticals company, acquired Hall Brothers in 1964 for £1.3 million. The Hall Brothers directors, with 17 percent of the equity, supported the sale. Through its Adams subsidiary, Warner Lambert already owned the Trident chewing gum brand in America.
A new factory was opened at Dumers Lane, Radcliffe, Lancashire in 1970. That same year, Hall Brothers received a Queen’s Award for export achievement. By 1972 Hall’s was the leading cough drop in the United States. Sales expanded in Latin America in the 1970s.
The Hall’s Soothers trademark was first registered in the UK in 1986.
The original Whitefield factory was closed in the late 1980s.
Hall’s was the highest-selling cough drop in the world by 1993, with annual sales of over $400 million.
Cadbury acquired Hall’s in 2003.
130 jobs were lost at the Radcliffe factory in 2004. The entire site was closed in 2005, with the loss of a further 310 jobs. The site was closed as 80 percent of its output was exported to the Americas, and it made economic sense to relocate production there.
In 2012 Cadbury became a part of the Mondelez snacks group.
In Britain, Hall’s Soothers outsells the original Hall’s Mentho-lyptus, which is now sold simply as “Hall’s”.
Whilst used as a cough and cold remedy in the Northern hemisphere, in hotter climes such as South America and Thailand, Hall’s is positioned as a sweet consumed for refreshment.
Hall’s accounts for 20 percent of medicated sweets sales worldwide, and is the leading sugar confectionery brand in the world according to Euromonitor.