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The end is nigh for Tab diet soda after 60 years

The Coca-Cola Company is to retire its Tab diet soda after 60 years as part of a global portfolio refresh. 

Introduced as The Coca-Cola Company’s first-ever “diet” soft drink in 1963, Tab became one of the most popular zero-calorie soda in the 1980s and maintained a small but loyal following over the last few decades.

“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,” said Kerri Kopp, group director, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola North America. “If not for Tab, we wouldn’t have Diet Coke or Coke Zero Sugar.”

The end of Tab is the result of significant changes in customer preferences in recent years. According to Kopp, the retirement will pave the way for additional investment in The Coca-Cola Company’s top diet soft drinks, Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. 

Besides Tab, the company is also to end other underperforming products, including Zico coconut water, Vegitabeta and Kuat.  

“This isn’t about paring down to a specific number of product offerings under our brands. The objective is to drive impact and growth,” said Cath Coetzer, global head of innovation and marketing operations at The Coca-Cola Company. 

“It’s about continuing to follow the consumer and being very intentional in deciding which of our brands are most deserving of our investments and resources, and also taking the tough but important steps to identify those products that are losing relevance and therefore should exit the portfolio.”

According to the company, the plan to streamline beverage lineups were underway well before the Covid-19 pandemic. The impact of coronavirus on supply chain and shopping behaviours have forced the company to fast-track its plan.  

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