Coca-Cola says goodbye to Tab, the company's first diet soda that became a cult favorite in the 1970s after sales stalled in the US.
The soft drink giant announced on Friday that it will phase out the soda, as well as other underperforming products, by the end of 2020 in an effort to streamline its beverage range in a challenging year.
"We are forever grateful to TaB for paving the way for the Diets and Lights category and the legion of TaB aficionados who have embraced the brand for nearly six decades," said Kerri Kopp, director of the Coke Group. in a statement.
“Without TaB, we wouldn't have Diet Coke or Coke Zero Sugar. TaB did its job. & # 39;
Coca-Cola is hiring Tab, its diet soda pioneer, first introduced in 1963. Pictured: an advertisement for Tab and Sugar-Free Tab from 1979
Tab became a cultural icon in the 1970s and 80s before getting out of hand after Diet Coke was released in 1982
It made a brief comeback in 2006 when Coca-Cola launched an energy drink tab. Pictured above are Fergie and Kristin Chenoweth posing with the soft drink
Coca-Cola said the move is part of a broader initiative to transform it into a "total beverage company" that will identify and scrap products that have lost relevance.
Soft drinks that have also gone flat include ZICO coconut water, Coca-Cola Life, and Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, as well as certain international brands that will also be disappearing by the end of the year.
Tab developed a following after it launched as the company's first diet drink in 1963.
The saccharin-sweetened, calorie-free soda paved the way for other artificially sweetened soft drinks that are popular to this day.
It was originally marketed to women and as a drink for people who wanted to keep track of their weight.
Tab rose to cultural icon status in the 1980s before slowly losing steam after the 1982 release of Diet Coke.
Coca-Cola produced several tab varieties over the years, including root beer and ginger ale flavors, and the drink made a brief comeback in 2006 with the release of the Tab Energy Drink.
Coca-Cola has produced several varieties of tabs over the years, including root beer and ginger ale flavors
Gone Flat: Coca-Cola will also phase out its ZICO coconut water and Diet Coke Feisty Cherry (right), as well as certain international brands
Over the past few decades, the soda has had a small but loyal following, mostly among fans named "Tabaholics" who had grown up with the beloved brand but have been harder to find in stores in recent years.
The company said plans to streamline its beverage range were in the works before the coronavirus outbreak. However, the challenges in the supply chain caused by the pandemic would have accelerated these measures.
Chairman and CEO James Quincey called it a "golden opportunity" to respond to an "ongoing need" and meet the company's goal in less time.
"We believe that when we get out of this crisis it will bring us more momentum behind stronger brands," said Quincey.
Tab has become more difficult to find in stores in recent years, but has had a small but loyal following over the past few decades, especially among fans who grew up with the popular brand
Earlier this year, Chairman and CEO James Quincey said the pandemic had accelerated Coke's plans to cut down slowly-selling "zombie brands" like Odwalla juice, which were no longer produced in July.
An ad for tab & # 39; clear & # 39;
Coke has 400 brands, more than half of which are single-country brands that make up less than 2 percent of sales, Quincey said.
Going forward, Coke will trim some of these brands and invest in bigger or more promising brands like Aha Sparking Water.
Coke said sales of water and sports drinks fell 24 percent in the second quarter, while coffee and tea sales fell 31 percent when the company temporarily closed its Costa coffee stores in Europe.
Soft drink sales improved, falling 12 percent worldwide. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar sales fell by just four percent.
The sales volume of cola, based on the number of individual cases, fell by 25 percent in April compared to the previous year.
By June this decrease was 10 percent. In China, the case volume actually increased in the quarter.
The closure of cinemas and other entertainment venues has also impacted Coca-Cola's sales. Half of it comes from stadiums and other places where people gather in large numbers.
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