Tab Cola Soda

Photo: Pexels

Off the Tab: One of SA’s best-known soft drinks to be scrapped

Say it ain’t so-da? Tab Cola is set to be pulled from the shelves for good, as South Africa loses one of its most polarising soft drinks.

Tab Cola Soda

Photo: Pexels

Some have stated they are already in ‘mourning’, whereas others have been less affected. But, whether you’re amped or ambivalent towards Tab Cola, you will soon be unable to buy it in South Africa – or anywhere else for that matter.

Tab to be discontinued by Coca-Cola

The Coca-Cola Company have confirmed this week that Tab will be no longer be produced, as they look to reshape their sales strategy going forward. A number of lesser-known products have been discontinued by the titans of the beverage industry, but this particular diet soda is by far the biggest casualty of the lot.

First marketed in the 1960s, Tab Cola ruled the world at one point. Its popularity peaked during the 1970s and 1980s, but ultimately, the product fell behind the competition – much of it coming from other diet drinks produced by Coca-Cola.

Why has Tab Cola been pulled from shelves?

Cath Coetzer is the global head of marketing operations for the organisation. She understands the sentiment that has stayed with Tab, but ultimately, the drink has no future as Coca Cola look to ‘drive impact and growth’. The product will be phased out in the next two years, but we could see Tab disappear from outlets by as early as December.

“This isn’t about paring down to a specific number of product offerings under our brands. The objective is to drive impact and growth. It’s about continuing to follow the consumer and being very intentional in deciding which of our brands are most deserving of our investments and resources.”

Global head of innovation and marketing operations of the Coca-Cola Company, Cath Coetzer 

The bid to save this soda

The outgoing soft drink caters to an older audience more than it does to younger South Africans. But despite its waning popularity, the discontinuation is proving to be a little too much for some people. A petition to save Tab Cola was shared over the weekend, and it’s approaching its first 1 000 signatures:

“Coca-Cola has decided to cease production of the first and best diet soda ever, Tab. Those of us who have loved the slightly citrus flavor of Tab are in mourning – there’s no way Diet Coke can replace our beloved Tab! Please sign this petition and let Coke know that we want our Tab Cola back!”

Luisa Williams’ on