Ouch! When you nick your finger and reach for a bandage, you might be grasping for a product manufactured here in Sarasota. Aso LLC was founded in Sarasota in 1991 as part of the Aso Group, a Japanese company established in 1872 and now in its fourth generation of family ownership. Today, Aso’s 153,000-square-foot east Sarasota headquarters cranks out billions of wound-care products and oversees operations in the U.S., Mexico, the Philippines and Europe. Its emoji-decorated bandages are one of its most popular products.
Bandages are made from a polyethylene substrate that’s coated with a medical-grade adhesive at the company’s sister facility, Millennium Coating. The coated tape is perforated and cut and a non-stick pad is added.
Finished bandages are sterilized at an Aso plant in Lakeland.
An antibacterial pad prevents infections.
18%: Portion of the overall bandage market accounted for by branded products
1 million boxes of emoji bandages have been sold since the product launched in May 2016. Other top-selling branded bandages include Shopkins toys and characters from the Trolls and Despicable Me movies.
Of the 3.1 billion strips made by Aso each year, 280 million have some type of decoration, including popular movie characters and pop-culture phenomena.
Aso also manufactures wound-care products like medical tape and sterile pads, and even wart and corn removers.