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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.
Flavor Aid currently comes in cherry, raspberry, grape, berry punch, tropical punch, orange, pineapple-orange, lemonade, pink lemonade, lemon-lime, strawberry, mango, and kiwi-watermelon flavors.
The manufacturer has also introduced several flavors of Flavor Aid designed to appeal to the Latino population with bilingual packaging and various exotic flavors. The Latino 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 linked to the Jonestown mass murder-and-suicide 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. Kool-Aid, rather than Flavor Aid, is usually erroneously referred to as the drink used in the massacre, most likely due to it having become a Generic trademark. The association with Kool-Aid has spawned the figure of speech "drink the Kool-Aid" but is regarded by some sources as a factual error. Film footage shot inside the compound prior to the events of November shows Jones opening a large chest in which boxes of Flavor Aid are visible. Criminal investigators testifying at the Jonestown inquest spoke of finding packets of "cool aid" (sic), and eyewitnesses to the incident are also recorded as speaking of "cool aid" or "Cool Aid."
- "Our History - Jelsert". Retrieved July 4, 2018.
- From the Jel Sert website. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
- Higgins, Chris (8 November 2012). "Stop Saying 'Drink the Kool-Aid'". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "'Jonestown': Portrait of a Disturbed Cult Leader". Day to Day. October 20, 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Paul McFedries (1998-10-27). "Wordspy article on the expression "Drink the Kool-Aid," October 27, 1998". Logophilia Limited, www.wordspy.com. Retrieved January 29, 2008.
- "Kool Aid/Flavor Aid: Inaccuracies vs. Facts Part 7". Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple. San Diego State University. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
- "Guyana inquest" (PDF).