Ayds (pronounced as "aids") was an appetite-suppressant candy which enjoyed strong sales in the 1970s and early 1980s and was originally manufactured by The Campana Company. It was available in chocolate, chocolate mint, butterscotch or caramel flavors, and later a peanut butter flavor was introduced. The original packaging used the phrase "Ayds Reducing Plan vitamin and mineral Candy"; a later version used the phrase "appetite suppressant candy". The active ingredient was originally benzocaine,[1] presumably to reduce the sense of taste to reduce eating, later changed in the candy as reported by The New York Times to phenylpropanolamine.[2]

By the mid-1980s, public awareness of the disease AIDS - which had initially been called "GRID", for gay-related immune deficiency - caused problems for the brand due to the phonetic similarity of names. Initially sales were not affected, but by 1988 the chairman of Dep Corporation announced that the company was seeking a new name because sales had dropped as much as 50 percent due to publicity about the disease.[3] The product's name was changed to Diet Ayds (Aydslim in Britain), but eventually it was withdrawn from the market.


The product was originally introduced by the Carlay Company of Chicago. A U.S. trademark was registered in 1946 claiming first use in commerce was in 1937.[4] In 1944 the US Federal Trade Commission objected to the claim that the product could cause the user to "lose up to 10 pounds in 5 days, without dieting or exercising".[5][6] Ultimately, some people[who?] believed that if the product worked at all, it was because the recommendation to take the candy with a hot drink before a meal filled up consumers and naturally caused them to eat less.

The Carlay Company later became a division of Campana Corporation of Batavia, Illinois. Then Campana bought Allied Laboratories of Kansas City in 1956; thereafter, Campana was bought by Dow Chemical and its president, Irving Willard Crull was briefly president of Dow (less than six months) and he engineered the sale of Campana to the Purex Corporation in the mid to late sixties; again becoming president of Campana while serving as a vice-president of Purex which allowed Campana to function as a separate division.,[7][8]. In 1981, Purex sold the rights to the Ayds name to Jeffrey Martin Inc. In 1987, Jeffrey Martin Inc. and its product line (including Ayds Appetite Suppressant and Compoz Sleep Aid) were acquired by the Dep Corporation (sometimes written DEP).


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