Product cuts at Coca-Cola are continuing as the soda giant goes forward with plans of streamlining production of top-performing beverage lines and retiring several underperforming products by the end of the year.
So far, the company has officially discontinued Odwalla smoothies in July and Zico coconut water earlier this month, while several other beverages like Diet Coke Feisty Cherry and Coke Life have been missing from grocery stores for months, prompting speculations they may soon be discontinued too. (Related: 8 Grocery Items That May Soon Be in Short Supply.)
The latest to get the boot is Tab, Coca-Cola's first-ever diet soda which debuted in the 1960s and primarily targeted female consumers looking for a health-conscious option in the soda aisle. During its heyday in the '70s and '80s, the sugar-free soda garnered a cult following and was marketed as a "beautiful drink for beautiful people." Its sales, however, were soon cannibalized by Diet Coke, which was released in 1982 and had a more pleasant taste with the same low-calorie benefits.
Tab is still popular among a loyal albeit small fan base today. When a shortage in 2018 prompted rumors of a possible discontinuation, the self-proclaimed Tabaholics started a crusade to keep their favorite soda on the market, taking their complaints directly to Coca-Cola and signing online petitions. Unfortunately, the pandemic has expedited Tab's demise as it was deemed an underperforming product in the Coca-Cola portfolio.
Tab will leave grocery store shelves by the end of the year, and the hunt for the remaining cans is well underway among fans.
Coca-Cola isn't the only company pruning their SKUs in order to overcome the supply chain challenges caused by the pandemic. Snack companies like Frito-Lay, Pringles, and Pepperidge Farm have shelved the production of several niche flavors of their chips and cookies, and Campbell's and Progresso are both discontinuing production of some flavors of their famous soups.
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