Star Tracks: Monday, May 16, 2016 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- How Miley Cyrus Has Given Up Partying After Reuniting with Love Liam Hemsworth
- Read the Cover Story: The Final Five: Their Amazing Journey!
- Kate Gosselin's Tough Decision: Why Her Son Is Away Getting Help
- Kate Gosselin and Her 8: 10 Years Later – I Wish I Hadn't Melted Down as Much
- Why I'm Marrying My Fiancé After He Kissed Another Woman: Countess Luann de Lesseps Tells All
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- July 22, 1985
- Vol. 24
- No. 4
Soda Popster Alan Canfield Strikes Black Gold with a Hot Fudge Diet Drink
In the nine days after Greene's column appeared, Canfield's sold 1.5 million cans—more than its entire 1984 production. With orders coming from as far off as Saudi Arabia and China, the frazzled company (at the time the drink was marketed only in four states) could not keep up with demand. Delivery trucks were waylaid, a bootlegged 35¢ can sold for $6 in New York, and a Sioux City, Iowa newspaper offered one as a contest prize.
Alan Canfield quickly stepped up production. To get fast delivery on necessary ingredients, he persuaded flight attendants to stow containers of ingredients in planes' bulkhead seats. To ship chocolate concentrate to bottlers, he bought first-class tickets for 10-gallon containers. Now he has franchisers in 50 states and sales have increased 5,000 percent. Not surprisingly, at least seven imitators have sprung up.
Canfield dreamed up the idea of the drink 15 years ago. A chronic dieter and chocoholic, he brought a two-pound box of fudge to the company's laboratory. "If we can duplicate this taste the world will beat a path to our door," he insisted. The entirely artificial product was perfected in 1972, but sales languished at five percent of Canfield's line of nine diet sodas.
This year the company expects to sell more than half a billion cans. "It's a pop man's dream," exults Canfield, who may be sorry that lightning never strikes the same place twice.
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!