After nearly 60 years, Coca-Cola is discontinuing its first-ever Tab diet soda, which gained a huge number of fans in the ’70s and’ 80s and maintained a small but dedicated sequence for many years.
Initially, saccharin-sweetened zero-calorie Tab was sold to women. People familiar with the taste describe it in terms, including “bitter” and “like bad medicine,” with a metallic and long-lasting aftertaste.
Tab’s rise was more or less cannibalistic when Diet Coke came on the scene in 1982. But Coke has supported the brand for many years.
Announcing the end of the Tab, Cox noted that the category of zero-calorie sparkling drink has changed significantly in recent years, both in terms of basic consumer base and benefits. Retirement Tab frees the company from investing in its own brands Diet Coke and Coke Zero.
“It’s not about efficiency,” said Brad Speakert, senior vice president of innovation and commercialization. “It’s a top line of growth.”