One more holdout of the 70s is going bye-bye.
I don’t think I’ve ever actually drank a Tab before. I do like its aesthetic, though, with its bright pink can and curvy logo. It’s very late 70s, early 80s, which makes sense since that’s when it was at its most popular. But though nostalgia is a powerful force for marketing, it can’t supplement an entire product on its own (usually), which is why Tab is officially getting the boot.
The Coca-Cola Company announced today that they will be formally discontinuing the production of Tab soda alongside a few of its other underperforming brands like Odwalla juices and Zico coconut water. While cutbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are definitely a factor, Coke clarified that this move has been in the works for a while now, and that the pandemic has merely prompted them to pull the trigger a little sooner. The pandemic has forced numerous food brands to cut flavors and varieties from their lineups in order to maintain production efficiency and ensure their most popular products can keep coming out.
Tab was one of the first diet sodas, possessing artificial sugar flavoring and a zero calorie count. It was quite popular in the 70s and 80s with folks looking to slim down, though apparently it was an acquired taste; many have likened Tab’s taste to bitter medicine. When Diet Coke came out in ’82, Tab lost a lot of its customer base, and with the ubiquity of diet, zero-calorie drinks these days, it’s lost most of its novelty.
It’s sad to lose pop culture relics of the past, but on the bright side, if I know anything about nostalgic drinks (Crystal Pepsi, Ecto Cooler, etc.), it’s that Coke will make a killing in ten years when they bring Tab back for a limited time.