After nearly six decades, Coca-Cola is taking its first-ever diet soda off the market. The beverage giant said that it will retire Tab, which became extremely popular in the ’70s and ’80s. The popularity faded, but the product managed to have retained a small loyal following through the years. Apart from saccharine-sweetened soda, another underperforming product Zico Coconut Water will no longer be available in the market. Coke has been planning for quite some time to streamline its production by eliminating underperforming products. But the pandemic has forced the company to speed up the process. Tab will be off the market by the end of the year. The decision comes weeks after the company said that it would slash almost half of its 500 brands. Earlier in August, the company had even announced it would be laying off thousands of employees.
Tab was the company’s first-ever diet soft drink and was introduced way back in 1963. It became an icon of sorts in the following years but the product lost its shine after Coca-Cola introduced Diet Coke in 1982. Coca Cola said remaining loyal consumers of the product were only those who grew up with the drink. Kerri Kopp, group director, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola North America said that Tab paved the way for the diets and lights category. “If not for Tab, people would not have Coke Zero Sugar or Diet Coke.” These words are likely to provide some comfort to followers and people operating ‘IloveTab,’ a fan website of the drink.
Coca Cola is not the only soft beverage company that is reducing its brand lineup. Many more companies are opting for the same strategy during the coronavirus pandemic. This will help them to increase their operational efficiency during the pandemic. The move is also aimed at meeting the growing demand or their already popular items. Coke has already announced that Odwalla juices will also be in the list of products that will be culled by the company.