Fleischmann's Yeast box from the past

You could conquer common ills
eating Fleischmann’s Yeast

100 years  ago Fleischmann’s Yeast  promised that eating their fresh yeast cakes would end indigestion, banish constipation, eliminate skin eruptions—and more!

In the 1920s, the renowned advertising agency J.Walter Thompson Company created a campaign for Fleischmann’s Yeast designed to promote the eating of yeast cakes as a way both to get vitamins and prevent constipation. (JWT claimed to be the “idea” agency.)

The J. Walter Thompson Company, once one of the world’s leading advertising agencies, claimed to be the “idea” agency.
The J. Walter Thompson Company, once one of the world’s leading advertising agencies, claimed to be the “idea” agency.
Fleischmann’s Yeast slogan for the campaign:
THIS FAMOUS FOOD tones up the entire system—aids digestion—clears the skin—banishes constipation.

The campaign used medical and personal testimonials to increase the sales of Fleischmann’s Yeast. Three advertisements from that campaign are reproduced below; the “testimonials” are transcribed below each advertisement. It’s obvious that these product endorsements were written by copywriters in J. Walter Thompson advertising agency. The photographs are posed. We’ll never know whether compensation was paid for the endorsements

The headlines

are different

“Pictures of Health,”
“This way—HEALTH!”
“Try this Recipe for Health”

The subheads

are different

They conquered the common ills—found glorious vital health—by eating a simple food

A simple method that has conquered old ills and shown thousands the way to new life and energy

An easy way to banish old ills and restore the Vigor of Perfect Health 

Advertising copy
at the top of the advertisements is common to all three

Not a “cure-all” not a medicine—Fleischmann’s Yeast is simply a remarkable fresh food.

The millions of tiny active yeast plants in every cake invigorate the whole system. They aid digestion—clear the skin—banish the poisons of constipation. Where cathartics give only temporary relief, yeast strengthens the intestinal muscles and makes them healthy and active, daily releasing new stores of energy.

Eat two or three cakes regularly every day, one before each meal: on crackers, in fruit juices, water-or milk—or just plain, in small pieces. For constipation dissolve one cake in hot water (not scalding) before meals and at bedtime. Dangerous habit-forming cathartics will gradually become unnecessary. All grocers have Fleischmann’s Yeast. Buy several cakes at a time—they will keep fresh in a cool dry place for two or three days.

And let us send you a free copy of our latest booklet on Yeast for Health. Health Research Dept. F-34, The Fleischmann Company, 701 Washington Street, New York.

Flieschmann's Yeast advertisement claiming that it could be eaten to "conquer common ills."

Testimonials November 1926  Pictures of Health

I HAD BEEN TROUBLED WITH INDIGESTION accompanied by dizzy spells. Many people before I was ill had asked me if I ate Yeast, so it occurred to me to try it. I ate Yeast in salad or in milk three times a day. It brought great relief. My dizziness disappeared in a month or so and I felt better in every way. Now I just take the Yeast occasionally to keep my stomach in really good condition.”   HATTY LININGER, Miami, Fla.

“SINCE MY LITTLE BOY HAD PNEUMONIA I have given him Fleischmann’s Yeast at lunch and before supper, to build him up. He has improved rapidly. His appetite is better and he has started in at school. I find, too, that I never have to give him any laxative. With the Yeast he is absolutely regular.” MRS. FELIX A. GRIFFIN”, Baltimore, Md. 

“MY ENERGY BEGAN TO FLAG soon after accepting my position as secretary to the president of a large bank. I became nervous and irritable. Then I discovered Fleischmann’s Yeast. In six weeks, marvel of marvels, I found that I was not so tired. I was no longer nervous and irritable.” ETHEL Y. GINZ, Indianapolis, Ind.

“WHILE HEAD COACH AT A LARGE UNIVERSITY the members of the football squad were taken down with boils. I tried every known remedy with no results. A trainer of another University team recommended Fleischmann’s Yeast. In a short time after giving my players Yeast the boils began to disappear. The team was able to make a splendid record.”  TOM THORP, Rockville Center, L. I., well-known football referee.

“I SUFFERED FROM CONSTIPATION. As an aviator for three years my life was a pretty hard one, you can imagine, The food generally was not of the best and was usually gulped down in a hurry. My face broke out too. Physics afforded me but slight temporary relief. Finally I commenced taking Fleischmann’s Yeast regularly. I had no more trouble. My face cleared and constipation became a thing of the past.” ALFONSO GOMEZ IZQUIERDO, San Francisco, Calif.

 Testimonials December 1926  This way health

“AFTER SUFFERING FOR YEARS FROM SICK HEADACHES brought on by stomach trouble—sometimes two attacks in the same week —I was advised by a Denver doctor to eat Yeast. I began taking Yeast three times daily, I have been free from headaches for several months, Fleischmann’s Yeast certainly did for my stomach trouble what all other remedies failed to do.” EDWARD A. SPROUL, Denver, Colo.

“I HAD SEVERE PAINS IN MY INTESTINES. I have been a chauffeur for twenty years and sitting in a car for ten or twelve hours a day, with practically no other exercise, finally told on my system. A friend advised Fleischmann’s Yeast. I tried it. In two months I absolutely was a different person. I was entirely well.” R.S.Burnwood, Venice, Calif.

“LAST YEAR I BECAME TIRED AND LISTLESS, owing to the lack of proper exercise. I was also troubled with indigestion and my complexion lost its freshness. I was seriously alarmed. On  a doctor’s advice , I began taking Fleischmann’s Yeast. I cannot praise it too highly. Every trace of indigestion vanished. My complexion returned. I am still eating Fleischmann’s Yeast to keep fit.” Eleanore G. Reade, New York City

I BROKE OUT FROM HEAD TO FOOT WITH SKIN ERUPTIONS. My entire body was covered with angry welts. I could not rest at night and during the day I was so tortured I thought I would lose my mind. Then someone suggested Fleischmann’s Yeast. I took three cakes of Fleischmann’s Yeast a day and now I am well. That was three years ago and I have not had any trouble since that time.  Mrs. Frank G Mehrling, Baltimore, Md.

MY LITTLE BOY WAS AFFLICTED WITH A SEVERE CASE OF CONSTIPATION at the age of four.  This is a cold country and constipation is prevalent here. Nevertheless I was determined to cure him. I started feeding him Fleischmann’s Yeast cakes each day. He ate them like cheese. This seemed to supply some deficiency in his diet. In a few weeks, the constipation began to disappear. Now elimination is regular and there is no trace of the old trouble left. The boy is a fine sturdy fellow now—and the credit is due to Fleischmann’s Yeast. It has been a great aid in keeping him fit.  Mrs. B Hardenbrook, Stanford, Mont.

Flieschmann's Yeast claimed that eaten it was an easy way to banish old ills and restore the Vigor of Perfect Health

Testimonials January 1927 Try this recipe for health

“I SUFFERED FROM CONSTIPATION FOR MANY YEARS on account of constant traveling. I am something of a soldier of fortune, having circumnavigated the globe several times and have lived in nearly every country of the planet. A friend in the Antipodes advised Fleischmann’s Yeast. Those cakes have kept me in the pink of condition and my constipation has vanished.” Thomas Stapleton, San Francisco, Calif.

“LAST YEAR I BECAME VERY RUN DOWN. As a ballet dancer it is necessary that I keep in excellent physical condition. I suffered from loss of vitality and after a performance I would be so tired I could hardly walk. I was advised to try Fleischmann’s Yeast. I did so. In a few weeks I noticed a remarkable improvement. Now my energy is completely restored.” HARRIETTE G. BENDLI’, New York City

“MY DAUGHTER, HENRIETTA, HAD BEEN TROUBLED WITH CONSTIPATION since birth. Three years age I started taking Fleischmann’s Yeast for indigestion and I noticed that it was also a good regulator. So I gave it to Henrietta. It soon stopped her constipation. My other children also have their daily Yeast. Since they began to eat it they have become pictures of health.” MRS. GEORGE L. KOENIG, Newark, N. J.

“I HAD BEEN A VICTIM OF INDIGESTION FOR THIRTY-FIVE YEARS. Every time I ate rich food like sausage or pastry I would have a severe attack. It would seem as though my entire alimentary tract was poisoned. Then I began eating Fleischmann’s Yeast. I ate three cakes of Yeast regularly every day. In a remarkably short time I began to improve and now I can indulge myself with anything I wish to eat. With such wonderful results I’ll never give up my Yeast.” J. A. RlTCHEY, Baltimore, Md.

“LAST FALL WAS TROUBLED WITH SEVERE SKIN ERUPTIONS for some time. I tried numerous remedies in vain. They all failed to relieve me. Finally I was advised by a friend to try Fleischmann’s Yeast cakes. I began to eat Fleischmann’s Yeast and at the end of two months I was completely rid of my affliction. I highly recommend Fleischmann’s Yeast cakes to any person so troubled.” MABEL C. MACKENZIE, St. Peters, Nova Scotia

printers devil
From an article featured in the July/August 2018 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. 

For decades, homemakers used fresh yeast to make their family’s bread. But yeast sales plummeted in the 1910s as busy Americans started buying bread at grocery stores. To boost sagging sales, Fleischmann’s Yeast promoted yeast as a health food. They claimed it was an important source of vitamins, which had only recently been discovered. It could also cure constipation, bad breath, acne, boils, and sluggishness and could ensure “internal cleanliness.” Fleischmann’s recommended drinking a half-ounce yeast cake dissolved in water three times a day.

Of all the wild claims, none was as outrageous as the assertion in a 1921 ad that yeast was “very palatable nibbled from the cake. Spread with butter on crackers, toast or bread, it is delicious.”

By the 1930s, the Federal Trade Commission stepped in to ask why none of the doctors featured in the ads practiced in America. And what exactly was “internal fatigue” — a symptom claimed to be cured by yeast? Fleischmann’s eventually bowed to pressure to produce more responsible ads, but not before its “Yeast for Health” campaign had increased its sales 1,000 percent.