In 2020, Coca-Cola announced that it would cease production of the once-popular diet soda — the SaveTabSoda Committee is raising money to change their minds.
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Cans of Tab soda on a store shelf
Credit: Ramin Talaie / Getty Images

In October 2020, the Coca-Cola Company announced that it would be "reshaping its beverage portfolio," which was a euphemistic way of saying that it would be discontinuing some of its longtime products. The Atlanta-based beverage giant said that it would cease production on Odwalla drinks, Coca-Cola Life, ZICO coconut water, and Northern Neck Ginger Ale, among others. It also decided to pull the plug on Tab, the diet soda that it had been producing since 1963. 

"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," Kerry Kopp, Coca-Cola North America's group director for Diet Coke, said in a statement. "If not for Tab, we wouldn't have Diet Coke or Coke Zero Sugar. Tab did its job. In order to continue to innovate and give consumers the choices they want today, we have to make decisions like this one as part of our portfolio rationalization work."

But, despite sales that had slowed since its two-decade heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, there are a lot of consumers who, you know, still want Tab. "I am heartbroken," a Tab-obsessive named Joy Robertson told CBS New York after Coca-Cola announced its decision. "I have this left in all the world, this is all I have left, it's not OK." 

And according to CNN, Robertson isn't alone in her Tab-driven grief. A group of longtime Tab devotees have created an organization called the SaveTabSoda Committee. So far, they have already created "coordinated call days" where Tab fans call the Coca-Cola customer service line to plead their case and organized a letter-writing campaign to try to persuade Coca-Cola Company execs. 

As of this writing, they have also raised over $1,700 in donations, which the SaveTabSoda Committee says will be used to advertise their cause. "We would like to place digital billboards in several different locations in Atlanta, Georgia (Coca-Cola's headquarters) and possibly several other locations," the organizers wrote on the group's website. "In addition, we'd like to increase the number of people who support our cause by increasing advertising on social media and other platforms." 

And, of course, they've launched a Change.org petition, which has collected over 2,000 signatures. (A previous Change.org petition, which was launched by a Redditor with the straight-to-the-point username u/BRINGTABBACK, has gathered over 4,600 signatures.) 

Despite the enthusiasm from Tab devotees, and despite their desperate pleas and digital urging, the Coca-Cola Company doesn't seem to be budging. "We appreciate the passionate legion of Tab lovers who have reached out and who embraced the brand for nearly six decades," a company spokesperson told CNN. 

Sorry, everyone. But maybe the real sugar-free soda will be the friends that you made along the way.