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Flavor Aid is a non-carbonated soft drink beverage made by The Jel Sert Company in West Chicago, Illinois. It was introduced in 1929. It is sold throughout the United States as an unsweetened, powdered concentrate drink mix, similar to Kool-Aid brand drink mix.
The manufacturer has also introduced several flavors of Flavor Aid designed to appeal to the Hispanic population with bilingual packaging and various exotic flavors. The Hispanic versions do not include cherry or berry punch, and instead include root beer, mango, apple, Jamaica (hibiscus), tamarindo, tangerine, and pineapple-orange.
The drink became inextricably linked to the Jonestown Massacre when it was learned that the cyanide poison taken by or forcibly administered to the commune's members was placed in Flavor-Aid. Large barrels filled with the grape variety, laced with the cyanide and a variety of tranquilizer drugs, were found half-consumed amidst the hundreds of bodies. For an unknown reason, Kool-Aid rather than Flavor-Aid is almost always mentioned in connection with the Massacre, this factual error even spawning catchphrases (e.g. 'Don't drink the Kool-Aid' being a slang admonition not to trust charismatic people). Film of Jonestown many months before the Massacre show stocks of both Flavor-Aid and its leading competitor within the commune's storehouses, so it is quite possible that both drinks were used as carriers for the poison.
- From the Jel Sert website, retrieved July 19, 2013.