By Annisa Essack
Coco-Cola has announced on Friday that it would be retiring Tab together with many other “underperforming products” by the end of December 2020.
With the coronavirus pandemic changing consumer habits and bringing supply chain challenges, the company has decided to fast track its plans to streamline its offerings.
The year was 1963, R.C. Cola had launched Diet Rite, a “healthy” diet drink. The Coca-Cola Company wanted in on the fun and developed its own version, a sugarless fizzy drink called TaB. Courtesy of some clever marketing strategies, the Tasty aerated Beverage took off, promising women that it would help “keep tabs” on their weight.
TaB’s popularity soared in the 60s and 70s but eventually, Coca-Cola decided to invest in a sugar-free version of its eponymous drink. Diet Coke, launched in 1982 quickly eclipsed the popularity of TaB, was kept on the shelves due to a loyal fan base.
By 2001, according to the Wall Street Journal, the soft drink accounted for just about 1% of the diet soda market and a company spokesman said that the Coco-Cola had not spent any money on marketing since 2008.
Although the sun may be setting on TaB, it will forever maintain its place in Coca-Cola history.
Kerri Kopp, the group director for Diet Coke at Coca-Cola North America, said retiring Tab products would clear the way for more investment in a “one-two punch with a pair of complementary, powerhouse brands.”
“If not for TaB, we wouldn’t have Diet Coke or Coke Zero Sugar. TaB did its job,” Kopp added.