Tab, Coca-Cola’s First Diet Soda, May Be in Trouble (Again)
Tab is one of those products that when you see it on a store shelf, you’re likely to find yourself thinking, “Huh? Tab is still around?” One of the earliest diet colas, and Coca-Cola’s first attempt back in back in 1963, Tab has been going for 55 years now. But recently, it hasn’t been going strong: Apparently, only about 1.5 million cases of Tab are currently sold per year. And recent developments have Tab diehards wondering if the old-school diet soda is officially on the ropes.
The New York Times reports that though Coca-Cola has said it doesn’t plan to stop making Tab, Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated—which is America’s largest independent bottler and distributor of Coke products—did admit it has recently changed its Tab distribution. “After careful review, we recently removed Tab 12-pack cans from the portfolio of beverages we offer,” the company told the NYT in a statement—a move that could affect Tab drinkers in 14 Eastern states.
This news hasn’t surprised diehard Tab drinkers in the affected area: They’d noticed the cult-favorite soda had been harder to come by for at least a month. As a result, the Tab community has once again ramped up its efforts to let everyone in Coca-Cola’s supply chain know how they feel. There’s a “Save Tab Petition” on the ILoveTab.com website and activity has apparently been growing on their Facebook page. “I wanted to let you know I’ve gotten all your wonderful emails,” a post on the page said yesterday. “There are over 200 now.”
“We’ve been through this before,” Calvin Boyd, a 51-year-old North Carolinian who says he’s been drinking Tab for four decades, told the Times. “We know what to do.” A willingness to appease decades-old fans would seem to be one of the only real reasons for Coca-Cola to keep Tab around at this point. Hopefully, they don’t stop now.