The Legend of Sudocrem

Dementia Care
June 3, 2021

‘Sudocrem’ is a trusted and familiar name to parents of babies, care workers, nurses and the general public.

In 1931, Dublin Professor of Pharmacy Thomas Smith created an antiseptic healing cream to treat nappy rash, bedsores, eczema, chilblains, sunburn and minor wounds. Initially, he named his product ‘Smith’s Cream’ and began selling it in his retail pharmacy at no.1, Old Cabra Road in North Dublin.

In the 1950s, the product was renamed ‘Soothing Cream’. In their North Dublin accents, customers took to shortening ‘Soothing Cream’, pronouncing it ‘Sudocrem’. The name stuck, and ‘Sudocrem’ was on the journey to becoming a household name.

In a successful strategy promoting the product’s use as a nappy rash treatment, Sudocrem samples were delivered to new mothers by Brendan, Thomas Smith’s son – who would check the births columns in the newspapers and personally deliver samples to Dublin’s maternity hospitals, ultimately resulting in the product becoming a known and trusted brand.

In the 1970s, Sudocrem was launched in Northern Ireland and the North West of England, and by the 1980s, it was available throughout the UK.

The company was sold to a global pharmaceutical company in 2016 and Sudocrem is now available in more than 44 countries worldwide, selling 35 million pots every year. Smith’s marketing strategy prevails: thousands of 10g tubs of Sudocrem are still gifted to new mothers in Irish maternity wards and in others across the globe.

Sudocrem’s success story is far from over, but May 2021 brings news of a sad ending on the horizon for the place where it all began. 110 jobs at the Sudocrem factory in Baldoyle, North Dublin will be lost when production moves to Bulgaria in 2023.

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