Introduced in 1963, TaB soda was the Coca-Cola company's first venture into the diet soda world. Now, over 50 years later, the brand is hanging up its can. While it managed to hold onto a cult-following through the years (it was even featured in the movie Back to the Future!), the soda brand didn't make it through the COVID-19 pandemic along with Zico Coconut Water and Odwalla juice. While loyal fans are still out there, the sales weren't enough to keep producing cans of TaB.
"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," Kerri Kopp, the group director for Diet Coke at Coca-Cola North America, said in a press release. "If not for TaB, we wouldn't have Diet Coke or Coke Zero Sugar. TaB did its job."
What is TaB Soda?
— 🔊 Kerry Collins 🔊 (@KerryCollins_CT) October 17, 2020
The soft drink, which came in flavors such as strawberry, Ginger Ale, Root beer, and Orange, came under fire in the 1970s when studies linked the sweetener saccharin with bladder cancer in rats. The United States Congress mandated warning labels on the cans but was later repealed when no plausibility was found for causing cancer in humans.
Known as the first diet drink, TaB is said to taste like diet cola. Throughout the years the first diet soda tried its hand at different varieties. The 1970s brought Black Cherry flavored TaB and Lemon-Lime. In 1983 the brand introduced Caffeine Free Tab which only sold for a limited time and in 2006 the brand added Tab Energy drink to its portfolio, which uses an entirely different recipe than the cola.
The brand is pulling the plug at the end of 2020 so fans have a few months to grab as many cans as they can.