Blog, Commercials, Food — January 30, 2015 9:42 am

Rolaids Spells Relief… or does it?!

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As long as I can remember, my family has been an avid consumer of Rolaids. Even as a kid, I would have constant stomach aches and would devour Rolaids like no other. Although it’s for heartburn, it still settled my stomach. Or at least I thought it did. Let’s not get into my psychology here!

That guy writing on the envelope probably should have spaced his letters better. Do another take guys, come on!

Maybe I had an addiction to Rolaids. The Freshmint was my personal favorite and anything fruit-flavored made me gag. I’d take one in the morning before school, some at lunch if I needed it (thanks to those individual rolls!), and even sometimes after I got home for the day.

A commercial from 1993, likely at the top of my Rolaids game. I associate this packaging the most with the brand.

I noticed a difference in the texture of Rolaids in the early 2000s, which was around when the company (Warner-Lambert Co.) was taken over by Pfizer. They were chalkier, less smooth, more difficult to get down. I started weaning myself off of them, or at least downing a big glass of water as I chewed the tablets with my front teeth, in a way that would get the least amount of grossness stuck in my molars.

My mom though, her Rolaids game was on point. Somehow, she had amassed a stock of old Rolaids and would dole them out in dire circumstances. I still remember getting her last role, and her telling me to treasure it. It was in case of emergencies only.

In 2006, the ownership changed once again, this time to the McNeil Consumer Healthcare division of Johnson & Johnson Inc. A couple years later, all hell broke loose.

Rolaids were pulled from the shelves in January 2010. One day they were at the drug store, the next, just empty shelves. The pharmacist never mentioned any recalls, just that there was a shortage and he was sure they’d get their shipment in soon.

Reports came in stating that the tablets had a moldy, musty, or mildew-like odor and had caused some stomach issues as a result. At the end of the year, a second recall was issued, this time citing metal and wood particles getting into the product. This was caused by some third-party manufacturer. Thanks to that guy, Rolaids were gone from shelves (besides the little rolls and Softchews) for three years.

Thankfully, in 2013, Rolaids made their comeback with new owners Chattem, in tablet and liquid form but no Softchews (goodbye weird minty Starburst-esque antacids!).

My parents ended up switching to Tums and my anxiety has manifested in other ways, so I’m proud to say I’ve been Rolaid-free since 2010. I still love that Freshmint flavor, but every time I think about that chalky Berry kind, I still gag a little.

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