The history of Ayds candy Dates back to 1937 in Chicago, when it was introduced by the Carlay Company. Several changes in ownership later, the company was bought by Dow chemical. Its president at the time, Willard Crull, left Dow and became a promoter of Ayds Candies in the 1960s. Crull was well-connected in Hollywood and influenced the likes of Hedy Lamarr, Bob Hope, and Tyrone Power to endorse the product.
Claims and Risks
Ayds candy was one of the many weight loss products that claimed to help people lose weight without dieting or exercising. It in fact was ineffective and contained a local anesthetic, benzocaine, which desensitized the tongue for tasting food. Thus, the theory that if you can’t taste it, you will eat less. Benzocaine has since been banned for internal use. Later, the active ingredient in Ayds was changed to phenylpropanolamine. This has also subsequently been banned in many countries due to risk of stroke.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of phenylpropanolamine (PPA)-containing products in the United States in 2000. Additionally, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that Ayds candy was effective for weight loss.
Therefore, it is not recommended to use Ayds Candy or any other similar product for weight loss. Instead, a healthy diet and regular exercise are the most effective ways to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Ironic and Merciful End
In the early 1980s, with the spread of AIDS as a disease, which also caused severe weight loss in those afflicted, the homonym “Ayds” suffered a public relations hit from which it never recovered.
In 1984, Jeffrey Martin Inc., a candy company based in Missouri, acquired then-owner Campana Corporation . Jeffrey Martin continued to produce Ayds candy, but sales began to decline as consumers became more aware of the health risks associated with the candy’s active ingredient, phenylpropanolamine (PPA).
In 1988, Jeffrey Martin sold Ayds to the Nabisco Brands Company, which was a large food and beverage company based in New Jersey. Nabisco attempted to rebrand the product as Diet Ayds. They introduced new packaging and advertising campaigns, but sales continued to decline. Unlike the disease, Ayds has since mercifully disappeared from sight.
- Year Started: 1937
- Year Ended: 1988
- Origin Of Name: A homonym for “aids”, as in “aids in appetite suppression”
- Location Sales: North America
- Brand Name Predecessor: Diet Ayds
- Brand Name Successor: Diet Ayds
- Owner Original: Carlay Company
- Owner While In Use: Carlay, Campana, Dow, Purex
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Sugar-free dark chocolate
- Naics Code: 812191
- Location Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois, United States, and other US cities