But if the vintage cough syrup happens to be a big seller via Amazon and other 21st-century channels, this comes as no surprise to Mike Musso, the new CEO of Marietta-based Summit Industries, which makes Creomulsion and a host of other consumer packaged goods (CPGs).
"The bottom line about Creomulsion is, it flat-out works," said Musso
, who joined the company in September.
"It is a high-performing, high-satisfaction product that people trust."
Fundamentals like product quality, packaging appeal and marketing savvy have always driven success in the CPG business, but rapid change also means older brands like Creomulsion must adapt to the times, Musso
After all, when a Griffin pharmacist concocted the cough syrup back in the 1920s, eco-friendly packaging was not exactly on consumers' minds.
"Today, we have the most educated consumers in the world," Musso
"They're asking if the content is recycled or if the plastic is biodegradable.
We're taking this into account as we position Summit's
brands for further growth."
The 65 full-time employees at Summit Industries'
Marietta headquarters make and distribute 13 consumer product lines and 75 different SKUs - a wide array of products sold at food, drug, mass-market, automotive and institutional retailers alike.
As CEO, Musso aims to ramp up brands such as Lexol, Lantiseptic, Creomulsion and Boroleum by applying lessons learned from his 30-year career in CPG.
, I learned the nuts and bolts of packaging, which had been the missing link in my CPG background," Musso
Over the years, Musso
has photographed ancient temples in Nagano City, Japan; a birthday party in Cienfuegos, Cuba; and even the treasures of the Vatican.
"My first cousin is the Archbishop of Malaysia," he
"So we were able to stay in his
apartment at the Vatican and to experience some unique things that not many people get to see."
wife, Kim, who have five children, are also passionate about early childhood education.
They own a Primrose School
in Alpharetta, and Musso
helped found one of the country's largest online education companies, Childcare Education Institute
A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Musso even does some teaching himself as part of the school's annual CPG "boot camp" for MBA students.
Typically, the students quiz him about the keys to success in CPG.
"I tell them it has got to be the highest-quality product, but that you also need strong leadership and strategy," Musso
"Leadership sets strategy, hires the highest level talent, and invests time in employees to build competency.
Results can't come, though, until there is a culture built on relationships and trust.
Simply put, that means always doing the right thing for employees, customers and consumers."