Fisherman's Friend was originally developed by pharmacist James Lofthouse in 1865 to relieve various respiratory problems suffered by fishermen working in the extreme conditions of the Northern deep-sea fishing grounds. Though he developed it as an extremely strong liquid remedy containing menthol and eucalyptus oil, Lofthouse later made the liquid into small lozenges which were easier to transport and administer. According to the manufacturer, the fishermen began to refer to the lozenges as "friends", hence the name. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is said to have used the product when her throat became strained from public speaking.
The lozenges are relatively unchanged since their creation. The original paper packets later became foil-lined and packaged in a cardboard carton. In some locales the standard 25-gram paper-foil packs are replaced by collectible tins, which can sometimes be redeemed from the manufacturer in exchange for a certain number of the paper-foil packs as part of promotional events.
Original Extra Strong lozenges contain sugar, liquorice extract, menthol, eucalyptus oil, dextrin, tragacanth, and capsicum tincture. In 2019, the formula changed, resulting in complaints from customers.
The sugar-free versions of the lozenges contain sorbitol, aspartame, menthol, vegetable-sourced sucralose, and acesulfame K. Often they have anti-caking agents added such as magnesium stearate. Each different flavour has unique ingredients. For example, the blackcurrant flavour variant includes elderberry juice extract.
Fisherman's Friends are available in a variety of flavours. Some flavours are sugar-free, for which the bags are striped.
- Original Extra Strong (called Eucalyptus in Germany) – White pack[a]
- Aniseed – Gold pack
- Mint – Green pack
- Original Extra Strong (called Eucalyptus in Germany) – White and blue pack
- Lemon – White and yellow pack
- Blackcurrant – White and dark purple pack
- Mint – White and light green pack[a]
- Apple – White, green and orange pack (only in Indonesia)
- Apple and Cinnamon – White and mid-green, or white and moss green, or white, green and orange pack
- Salmiak – White and black pack
- Cherry – White and dark red pack[a]
- Mandarin and Ginger, or Spicy Mandarin, or Mandarin and Grapefruit, or Mandarin – White and dark orange pack
- Grapefruit – White and coral pack
- Sweet Liquorice – White and brown pack
- Tropical – White and amber pack
- Spearmint – White and teal pack
- Citrus – White and lime green pack
- Honey and Lemon – White and beige pack
- Sweet Lime – White and yellow to light green pack
- Raspberry – White and dark pink pack
- Mixed Berries – White, red and purple pack
- Sage – White and light purple pack (only in Germany)
- Salmiak and Raspberry– White, dark pink and black pack (only in Sweden and Norway)
Other types of candy
- Pro Fresh from Fisherman's Friend
- Vanilla Mint
- Lemon And Lime
- Flavours available in the United States (In the United States and Canada, Fisherman's Friend is marketed more as a medicinal lozenge than as a candy.)
Lofthouse of Fleetwood Ltd. have won the Queen's Award to Industry for Export Achievement on three occasions.
- "Lozenge that conquered the world: Fisherman's Friend have netted a packet for one very modest British family". dailymail.co.uk. 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
- Grandflame. "Grocery News from the Grocery Trader Magazine including all Grocer news today". Grocerytrader.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
- "Flavour | Fishermans Friend". web.archive.org. 2019-05-06. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
- Official website (for the UK)