USA – The Coca-Cola Company has announced that it would discontinue Tab diet cola at the end of this year as it continues to trim back its product lineup to focus on popular drinks with more growth potential.
Launched in 1963, Tab was initially targeted to women with the promise that the saccharine-sweetened, zero-calorie soft drink would keep their waistlines slim.
The brand reached the peak of its popularity in early 1980s when Coca-Cola released commercials with jingle proclaiming that Tab was “for beautiful people.”
The drink’s popularity, however, began to fade when Diet Coke was introduced in 1982. By 2011, only three million cases of Tab were made, compared with 885 million cases of Diet Coke.
“We are taking the tough but important steps to identify those products that are losing relevance and therefore should exit the portfolio.”Cath Coetzer – global head of innovation and marketing operations, Coca-Cola
“We are taking the tough but important steps to identify those products that are losing relevance and therefore should exit the portfolio,” said a statement from Cath Coetzer, global head of innovation and marketing operations.
Coca-Cola offered buyouts to 4,000 workers this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, and hinted that more layoffs were coming. The company is changing direction with new products such as Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, Coca-Cola Energy and AHA flavored sparkling water, the company said.
“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 for Diet Coke at Coca-Cola North America.
“If not for Tab, we wouldn’t have Diet Coke or Coke Zero Sugar. Tab did its job.”
Coca-Cola also said it would retiring other products, as well, at the end of the year, including ZICO coconut water, Coca-Cola Life and Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, plus regional offerings Northern Neck Ginger Ale and Delaware Punch.
The company said its beverage overhaul was already under way before Covid-19, but the pandemic prompted the company to fast-track changes. Coke previously announced that Odwalla juices and Zico coconut water would be among the discontinued brands.
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