I am always looking for information to pass on to you about how soy wax came about. One of my team members, Dave Dobbs, came across this information and I wanted to share it with you!
In 1991, Michael Richards, was looking for an alternative for beeswax, that is when he developed soy wax. There was a big demand for natural wax candles, but beeswax was about 10 times more expensive than paraffin. As Michael entered the candle industry with beeswax products he realized there was a growing demand for natural wax candles. He tested different natural plant waxes and finally ended up with a vegetable wax which was made with partially hydrogenated soy oil, coconut oil and palm oil. He also blended beeswax with soy wax to make an economical natural wax candle. Then in 1995, the Body Shop, a national chain of stores, was the first to offer soy candles to the general public. The first natural wax candles which were delivered to the Body Shop were a mixture of beeswax and almond oil. Later on the almond oil was completely replaced with soy wax. Michael Richards succeeded in replacing the expensive beeswax with soy wax in 1996. The soy wax producer Candleworks negotiated in 1997 a research project with the University of Iowa which resulted in the study: "Increasing the Use of Soybeans in the Manufacturing of Candles". And in 1998 The Indiana Soybean Board unveiled at the Farm Progress Show special patented soy wax, Harvest Lights, which was developed by a farmer-funded group. A lot of research was done to proof the benefits of soy wax. Leading to 2 scientific publications: •Rezaei, K, T. Wang, and L.A. Johnson. Combustion characteristics of candles made from hydrogenated soybean oil. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 79: 803-808 (2002). •Rezaei, K., T. Wang, and L. A. Johnson. Hydrogenated vegetable oils as candle wax. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 79: 1241-1247 (2002).
Thank you, Dave, for doing the research and sharing this with us!