Coca-Cola Cancels Tab Diet Soda Globally After 57 Years

The Coca-Cola Company’s first ‘diet soda’ brand Tab will be discontinued globally come 2021.

The beverage giant explained in a statement this week that it’s retiring some underperforming products by 30 December 2020 as part of a global portfolio refresh, prioritising category-leading brands with the greatest potential for growth and scale. Tab is on the chopping block, along with US brands Odwalla, Zico coconut water, Coca-Cola Life and Diet Coke Fiesty Cherry.

Tab broke new ground in 1963 when it was introduced as The Coca-Cola Company’s first-ever “diet” soft drink. Initially marketed to women, the saccharine-sweetened, zero-calorie soda became a cultural icon in the 1980s and maintained a small but loyal following over the last few decades, primarily among fans who grew up with the beloved brand.

Tab was popular in South Africa for many years, when it was the only ‘diet soda’ brand that didn’t contain caffeine.

“We’re forever grateful to Tab for paving the way for the diets and lights category, and to the legion of Tab lovers who have embraced the brand for nearly six decades. If not for Tab, we wouldn’t have Diet Coke or Coke Zero Sugar. Tab did its job. In order to continue to innovate and give consumers the choices they want today, we have to make decisions like this one as part of our portfolio rationalisation work,” said Kerri Kopp, group director, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola North America.

In South Africa, Coca-Cola No Sugar No Caffeine is the company’s flagship sugar-free drink.