Headache powders are a “Southern thing” – one that makes darn good common sense. If your head is pounding, the powdery compound brings speedy relief.
Simply, powders dissolve faster and go to work quicker than tablets, pills or capsules. That was important to those hard-working folks who toiled on North Carolina farms and in the state’s textile and furniture mills.
If you grew up in North Carolina and other southern states, knowing how to take BC, Goody’s and Stanback powders was second nature.
Did you know there are specific instructions? Goody’s recommends a three-step process for adults and children 12 and older. Step 1 is to “tear open the stick pack where indicated. (Before tearing, shake the stick pack so the powder settles away from where you tear.)”
Step 2 is to “pour powder on your tongue. (It’s easier if you pour the powder on the back of your tongue. As you pour, tap the sides of the stick pack to get all the powder out of the sides and corners. Hold your breath so you don’t accidentally inhale the powder.)”
Step 3 is to “chase with a beverage (water or soda).” Warnings are: Take only one powder every six hours while symptoms persist, and for children under 12, consult a physician before use. The main ingredients are aspirin and caffeine.
The Piedmont region of North Carolina was the “cradle of headache powders.” BC was founded in Durham, Goody’s grew up in Winston-Salem and Stanback made its home in Salisbury. Scores of other companies fell by the wayside, lacking the marketing clout of the “big three.”
Times change. Block Drug Company was formed in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1907 by Alexander Block, a Russian immigrant. His small, neighborhood drug store blossomed into a powerhouse over time, developing the Polident and Nytol brands and aggressively acquiring competitors.
Block Drug bought BC in 1967; it acquired Goody’s in 1995 and then Stanback in 1999. All three brands are now owned by Prestige Consumer Healthcare Inc. of Tarrytown, N.Y. The company reported revenues for fiscal 2021 of $943.4 million.
The “Snap back with Stanback” slogan retains its ageless marketing message. Meanwhile, BC and Goody’s have benefited from contemporary advertising targeted toward lovers of the NASCAR sport of hot cars...and hot country music stars.
The first celebrity spokesperson to hawk Goody’s was racing legend Richard Petty of Randleman, N.C. BC latched onto country music recording artist Trace Adkins of Sarepta, La. They were “dueling idols” for a spell in 2011-12.
One of the funniest television commercials featured the 6-foot-6 Adkins trying to get into Petty’s No. 43 race car. Adkins was distraught when he discovered there was no door latch, only an open window.
He had to slither his big body through the window opening in order to get in the driver’s seat. Yet, in the process, his knees dislodged the steering wheel. (Only a plumped up Lucy Ricardo could have upstaged Adkins’ performance.)
It was a grand competition to “pick a powder” online, which was dubbed “Like, Share, Change the World.” Proceeds benefited charities that were near and dear to Adkins and Petty.
Adkins selected the Wounded Warrior Project, while Petty channeled his share to Victory Junction, a racing-themed summer camp for terminally ill children in Randolph County.
Goody’s recently signed driver Thad Moffitt, 21, a grandson of Richard Petty, to pitch the product to younger generations. Thad is the son of Brian and Rebecca Petty-Moffitt, youngest daughter of Richard and the late Lynda Petty.