Earlier this year, Chattanooga's Chattem Inc. bought the rights to Rolaids, and officials are now reintroducing the over-the-counter heartburn and indigestion medicine with the help of a local food truck, California Smothered Burritos.
"Chattem acquired the worldwide rights to the Rolaids brand from McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division earlier this year," Nate Challen, senior brand manager at Chattem, said in a prepared statement. "While some may have thought their store was just out of Rolaids, McNeil actually removed the products from the market in 2010."
What: Roll with a Bowl event at California Smothered Burritos
When: Oct. 28, 12-2 p.m.
Where: Center Park, 700 block of Market Street
How much: Free while supplies last
Chattem leaders have updated the product packaging and added new ultra-strength tablets and a new liquid form, which is a first for the brand.
The products became available in most places in September.
Chattem also makes products such as Icy Hot, Gold Bond foot powder and lotion, and Pamprin.
And October is National Chili Month, so Chattem leaders are partnering with California Smothered Burritos for a Rolaids promotion Oct. 28.
On that day in downtown's Center Park, owner of California Smothered Burritos Jim Masiella will be giving away free bowls of chili—up to 250 bowls, while supplies last—and each bowl comes with a roll of the new Rolaids product.
"We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate its return than during National Chili Month," Challen said. "After all, chili is one of those foods often associated with heartburn."
The local event is one of six total happening around the country. The others are in Cincinnati, San Antonio, Seattle, New York City and San Diego.
In 1953, a professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Irvine W. Grote, patented the main ingredient in Rolaids. One of UTC's buildings, Grote Hall, is named for him.
"Chattanooga is an especially important event location, as it’s home to Chattem as well as the original birthplace of the Rolaids active ingredient, which was patented by a professor from UTC," Challen said.
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