Ayds – History, Rise and Fall of Popular Weight Loss Candy

Did you know that in the 1970s and 1980s, people consumed candy in order to lose weight? 

While it may sound like an oxymoron, Ayds was a real product that was marketed as a way to suppress your appetite and help you lose weight. Eventually, the candy disappeared from store shelves in the 1980s. However, the story of Ayds is an interesting one that highlights the changing attitudes toward weight loss and the power of marketing in the food industry.

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

So if you’re curious about this unique piece of candy history, stick around and learn more about the rise and fall of Ayds.


What is Ayds? Overview

Ayds candy was a unique product that was marketed as a weight loss aid in the 1970s and 1980s. The candy was a small, caramel-flavored chew that was supposed to help curb your appetite and make it easier to stick to a calorie-controlled diet. However, Ayds’ popularity began to decline rapidly in the 1980s, and the candy was eventually discontinued altogether.

The origins of Ayds can be traced back to the 1940s when the product was first created by the pharmaceutical company, Jeffrey Martin. The original Ayds candy was a simple, sugar-coated cough drop that was marketed as a remedy for sore throats and coughs. However, in the 1970s, the company decided to pivot and rebrand the candy as a weight-loss aid.

However, the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s would prove to be the undoing of Ayds candy. As the disease spread and the public became more aware of its devastating effects, the unfortunate similarity between the product’s name and the disease caused sales to plummet. Despite attempts to rebrand and even change the name of the candy, Ayds could not shake off its association with the deadly disease.

Buy Candy Online

old candy

By the mid-1980s, Ayds was no longer profitable and was eventually discontinued altogether. The once-popular weight loss aid became a relic of the past, a curious footnote in the history of the food industry.

Today, the story of Ayds serves as a cautionary tale about the power of marketing and the importance of considering the cultural context in which a product is being sold. While the candy itself may be gone, its legacy lives on as a reminder of the changing attitudes toward weight loss and the power of association in shaping consumer behavior.

Ingredients & Nutritional Value

So, what exactly was Ayds candy made from? The candy was a small, chewy caramel that was flavored with a mixture of natural and artificial flavorings. The exact recipe for the candy was a closely-guarded secret, but some of the known ingredients included corn syrup, sugar, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, whey protein concentrate, and salt.

READ MORE:  Hedgehog Crisps (History, Marketing & Pictures)

The making process of Ayds candy was similar to that of other caramel candies. The ingredients were mixed together and then heated to a specific temperature to create a smooth, chewy texture. The mixture was then poured into molds and left to cool and harden before being packaged and shipped to stores.

While Ayds candy was marketed as a weight loss aid, it’s worth noting that the candy itself did not contain any ingredients that were specifically designed to promote weight loss. Rather, the candy’s low-calorie count and its ability to help curb your appetite were intended to make it easier to stick to a calorie-controlled diet.

In terms of nutritional value, Ayds candy was relatively low in calories, with each piece containing around 20–25 calories. However, the candy was also high in sugar and fat, which meant that it wasn’t exactly a healthy snack. Additionally, some health experts have pointed out that the candy’s use of hydrogenated palm kernel oil, which contains trans fats, may have had negative health effects.

Packaging Design

The packaging design of Ayds candy was simple yet eye-catching, with a distinctive logo and name that set it apart from other candy brands.

The logo of Ayds candy featured a bold, all-caps font in white against a black background. The letters were spaced out evenly, making the name easy to read and instantly recognizable. The word “Ayds” was centered in the middle of the packaging, with no additional graphics or images to distract from the name itself.

The name “Ayds” was a play on the word “aids,” which at the time was not associated with the deadly disease that would come to be known as AIDS in the 1980s. Instead, the name was meant to convey the idea of “aiding” in weight loss by suppressing one’s appetite.

While the packaging design of Ayds candy may seem simple by today’s standards, it was actually quite revolutionary for its time. The black and white color scheme was bold and striking, and the all-caps font made the name stand out on store shelves.

READ MORE:  Spangles

One of the most interesting aspects of the packaging design of Ayds candy was its use of testimonials from satisfied customers. On the back of the packaging, there were numerous quotes from people who had successfully lost weight while using Ayds candy. This was a clever marketing tactic that helped build trust and credibility with potential customers.


Ayds Logo

Advertisements & Promotional Campaigns

Ayds Candy was known for its unique advertising and promotional campaigns that focused on the brand’s ability to suppress appetite and aid in weight loss. The brand was heavily marketed towards women, and its ads often featured before-and-after photos of women who had successfully lost weight while using Ayds candy.

One of the most memorable Ayds candy advertisements was a television commercial that aired in the 1980s. The ad featured a woman standing in front of a mirror, lamenting about her weight gain. She then pulls out a pack of Ayds candy, pops a piece into her mouth, and watches as her reflection transforms into a slimmer version of herself. The tagline for the ad was “Ayds helps you take off weight and helps you keep it off.”

In addition to television commercials, Ayds Candy also relied heavily on print advertisements in women’s magazines. These ads often featured testimonials from satisfied customers, along with photos of women who had successfully lost weight while using the product. Many of the ads also included a coupon for a discount on a pack of Ayds candy, which encouraged readers to give the product a try.

Ayds also used product placements in popular television shows and movies to promote the brand. In one episode of “The Golden Girls,” one of the characters is shown eating Ayds candy as a way to suppress her appetite. This type of product placement was a clever way to reach a wider audience and create brand recognition.

Another promotional campaign that Ayds Candy used was sponsoring weight-loss contests. The brand would partner with local gyms or weight loss centers to offer prizes to individuals who had successfully lost weight while using Ayds candy. This type of campaign not only helped to create brand loyalty but also positioned Ayds candy as a legitimate weight loss solution.

Substitutes of Ayds Candy

If you’re looking for candy to replace Ayds candy, you’re in luck. There are plenty of delicious and popular candies on the market that can satisfy your sweet tooth without any negative connotations.

READ MORE:  Charleston Chew (History, Pictures & Commercials)

Starburst Candy


One popular option is Starburst Candy. These chewy candies come in a variety of fruity flavors, including strawberry, lemon, orange, and cherry. They’re a great option for those who enjoy tangy and chewy candy that lasts a while.



Another popular candy that can replace Ayds is Skittles. These small, fruit-flavored candies are perfect for snacking on the go, and they come in a rainbow of colors and flavors. From classic flavors like strawberry and grape to more unique options like sour apple and wild berry, there’s a Skittles flavor for everyone.

Werther’s Originals

Werther’s Sugar-Free Hard Candy

For those who prefer hard candy, Werther’s Originals is a great option. These creamy and buttery candies have been a favorite for decades, and they come in a variety of flavors, including caramel, coffee, and chocolate. They’re perfect for those who enjoy a slow, satisfying candy experience.

Japanese Kit Kats

Japanese Kit Kats

If you’re looking for something a little more unique, consider trying Japanese Kit Kats. These chocolate-covered wafer bars come in a wide variety of flavors that you won’t find in most American candy stores. From green tea and strawberry cheesecake to sweet potato and wasabi, there’s a Kit Kat flavor for every adventurous candy lover.



Finally, if you’re looking for a candy that’s a little healthier than the traditional sugary treats, consider trying Smarties. These small, pastel-colored candies are made from compressed sugar and come in a variety of flavors. They’re lower in calories than many other candies and are a great option for those who want to satisfy their sweet tooth without overindulging.



Bottom Line

The story of Ayds weight-loss candy is a fascinating example of how the food industry’s marketing strategies can evolve and change over time. What was once a popular diet aid soon became a product that was ultimately discontinued. While Ayds may be a relic of the past, it’s interesting to look back on this unique piece of candy history and reflect on how far we’ve come in our understanding of nutrition and wellness. 

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments below. Thank you!

Click here for a full A-Z list of Snacks and Candy


  1. I think it was in the late ’60’s my Mom used Ayd’s and other things for weight loss help. I tried them too they never did as advertised.
    My doctor put me on diet pills and almost killed me.
    When ready to loose weight: eat 3 healthy well balanced meals a day with nothing in between except water, tea or coffee and two low calorie snacks coupled with exercise. Good luck

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *