After 20 years of activity and growth in the confections and nutraceuticals industries as a private label and/or contract manufacturer, the Mooresville, N.C-based BestSweet, Inc. looks to further expand its branded portfolio (it currently has a marketing agreement with Baskin Robbins to produce confections under that brand) with the launch of Bee M.D., an organic cough lozenge featuring 40% honey content.

“We’re looking to leverage the medicinal aspects of honey and tie together with the organic nature of the product,” explained Harry Overly, v.p. of marketing and innovation. “We’re targeting the product toward college-educated, more affluent mothers. Medical research shows that honey is safer for kids, and it’s the No. 1 ingredient in our products.”

The Bee M.D. lozenges, which use biodegrable packaging, will come 21 pieces to a bag, and carry a suggested retail price of $3.29.  It will ship nationally August 1 to all main distribution channels, Overly says.

The launch of Bee M.D. actually represents the culmination of the company’s move to becoming an organic confections manufacturer. Five months in the making – BestSweet received its organic certification this past May – the company now has three new departments/areas capable of producing organic confections.

“BestSweet has long-been a pharmaceutical-grade manufacturer. The addition of an organic certification is yet another way in which we’re on the leading edge of product development and consumer trends,”Overly says. “The demand for premium, organic products is something we’re excited to market and supply, and this addition in capabilities just strengthens our position as a leader in the industry.”

The company also continues to expand its pharmaceutical production capacity, having just added two new departments to meet cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) requirements, a standard that applies to the production of all drug products. The investments represent BestSweet’s philosophy of capitalizing on innovations in both sectors and transferring those learnings accordingly.

 As part of its 20th anniversary celebration, the company held an outdoor food and music fest at its facility on June 21st. The outing was open to employees and family members as well as local media.