About Equal

In 1965, while licking his finger to pick up a piece of paper, Dr. James Schlatter – a scientist at G.D. Searle and Company who was doing research with amino acids – tasted a sweet, attractive flavour. Inadvertently, he had discovered aspartame, an ingredient that would revolutionize the category of “sweetener” and would be the main sweetening ingredient in Merisant´s leading tabletop brands.

In 1979, after years of testing before it was approved for consumer use, a product marketed as “Canderel®” was launched in France. Canderel® combines the words “candy” and “airelle,” the French word for wild cherry.

The product soon gained recognition through the support of pharmacists and doctors who lauded the health benefits of the low-calorie sweetener. By the early 1980s, Canderel® was being marketed in much of Europe.

In 1981, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the tabletop use of aspartame, and the next year, Equal launched in the United States and Canada. Equal quickly became accepted in the U.S. market as a way to enjoy sweetened beverages without the calories of sugar.

In 1985, Monsanto acquired Searle and 15 years later, Merisant purchased the tabletop sweetener business from Monsanto. Today, Merisant is a worldwide leader in the marketing of low-calorie tabletop sweeteners. In addition to Equal and Canderel®, Merisant markets its products under approximately 18 other regional brands and sells its brands in over 90 countries. Merisant is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.