Coca-Cola is retiring its first ever diet soda after almost six decades on supermarket shelves.
The soft drink giant unveiled Tab to consumers in 1963, marketing the zero-calorie brand at consumers wanting to “keep tabs” on their weight.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the diet soda enjoyed enormous success. Several variations were made, including a number of fruit-flavoured, root beer, and ginger ale versions. Caffeine-free and clear forms were also released in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
However, Tab’s time in the sun slowly began to fade when a new kid on the block arrived in the shape of Diet Coke, in 1982.
By 2011, the company was producing 3 million cases of Tab, compared to 885 million of its successor. The company said Tab has always maintained a “small but loyal” number of fans but it was time to farewell the brand, at the end of the year, saying it had “done its job”.
“We’re forever grateful to Tab for paving the way for the diets and lights category,” 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.”