Some of the country’s leading brands are produced here in the county and one particular firm is acquiring more brands to accelerate growth in both home and international markets.

G R Lane Health Products (LanesHealth) based in Gloucester was formed in 1930 and is now a third generation family business that is transferring leadership and management of the firm to the fourth generation.

One of Gloucestershire’s best kept secrets is that LanesHealth manufactures some of the country’s most recognised OTC (over the counter) brands. Olbas, Kalms, GOPO and Aquaban are found in many medicine cabinets in households across the country and increasingly the world.

Much has happened under Janet Groves’ leadership, grand-daughter of the founder. LanesHealth has expanded through supplying international markets for the last 30 years. Their products are now available in USA, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Far East, Caribbean, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

In recent years the company has grown through acquisition purchasing the Jakemans brand and the manufacturing facility in Lincolnshire. The family has invested millions in state of the art machinery where 30 menthol confections are produced every second and more recently in national consumer marketing. This combined investment has enabled sales of Jakemans to grow five-fold to more than £10 million.

Janet’s son, Jon, is the fourth generation and has progressed through the company to his current position of Commercial Director. Jon also heads up Jakemans Inc. in the United States, which the firm has identified as a key growth market.

The game changer for LanesHealth was identifying the power of branding. Dave Cole, who has been Sales and Marketing Director for the last five years has just become Managing Director. Dave observes, “We have always been very good at manufacturing to the highest standards and the family identified many years ago the importance and power of developing strong consumer brands. The products we supply are bought in supermarkets, pharmacies and health food stores on the High Street. Branding is therefore crucial. More recently we have gone one stage further and over the last two years we have acquired brands such as ProPlus, Earex, Ralgex and Resolve, where we can leverage our considerable branding knowledge and market insights to drive sales and future growth for the company.

“We did the same with Jakemans and now Jon is pioneering the next level of market penetration for that brand in the US.

“This combination of manufacturing strength and brand management gives us a real advantage and we envisage many more such acquisitions.

“Both Jon and I are delighted to have been given the opportunity and responsibility of leading LanesHealth in the next stage of the company’s development. We have a great working relationship.”

LanesHealth is an impressive company, confident enough to grow organically and through acquisition. The firm is successfully trading globally. I have worked with Dave and Jon for the last year on the LEAD programme and I am sure that their leadership will drive the business to even greater success. The family is right to be proud of the blend of family and non-family at the highest level.

What are your thoughts on the power of branding?              

This article is part of the Game Changer series available on www.southwestbusiness.co.uk

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