I was listening to the latest episode of Terry O'Reilly's Under the Influence during my ride today, and he told a story about Certs.
I remember Certs as the "two mints in one" candy. Then, in 1994, the artist formerly known as Maestro Fresh Wes released "Certs Wid Out Da Retsyn". You might remember the video from MuchMusic.
What was this Retsyn found in Certs? Is it medicinal? Is it from a mint plant?
It was an interesting marketing strategy from parent company American Chicle – whose other product was Chiclets. The company launched Certs in 1956, and used the word Retsyn in all its advertising for years.
Retsyn sounded vaguely scientific, and Certs framed it as a proprietary ingredient, saying that a golden drop of Retsyn was a "miracle breath purifier."
In reality, Retsyn was homogenized vegetable oil.
Homogenized vegetable oil wrapped up in a fancy made-up word and marketed to suckers.