Fans Will Stop At Nothing To Bring Back Tab Soda

While a company may decide to discontinue certain products because they fail to bring in a sufficient level of revenue, their absence still hurts the fanbase that did enjoy them. However, few items however have inspired consumer organizing quite like TaB has. Since its discontinuation in 2020, a group called the Save TaBSoda Committee has formed. Their goal: pressure the Coca-Cola company into reinstating their decades old soda brand.

"In addition," they continue on their website, "once the product is back in production, the committee plans to work with Coca-Cola to increase marketing and sales of TaB soda so it will be produced for decades to come." Their main focus is a petition, which as of writing has passed 2,700 signatures, and fundraising for a small scale advertising campaign.

CNN reports that the group has also coordinated phone and message campaigns against the company. So far, TaB seems unlikely to return. However, committee members don't seem ready to back down. "I would feel really guilty saying, 'I've been working on this for a couple years, it's not happening, I'm out,'" committee member Jenny Boyter told CNN. "I'll still want to stay with the committee and keep on trying." The tries she attempted have included 25 letters and a video "celebrating" her beloved soft drink.

Why did Coke discontinue TaB?

Obviously TaB had a strong following. So why was it discontinued?

The final end to TaB was James Quincey, the CEO of Coca-Cola who made it his mission to trim the company's bloated portfolio. "In the end, it's a Darwinian struggle for space in the supermarket or in the convenience store," he told CNN, essentially saying that the company shouldn't continue to compete with itself over physical shelf space. TaB was one of the 200 brands that Quincey deemed to be non-competitive because as another CNN piece points out, all those brands together only made up 2% of Coca-Cola's revenue.

The Wall Street Journal provides additional context to this choice, noting that TaB fell out of favor across the decades due to Diet Coke. Following Quincey's logic, the company was committing self-inflicted losses by investing in two diet soda brands, one of which was massively more popular than the other. For a while, TaB remained because it had such a vocal fanbase. But that demographic has shrunk, meaning that even though a committee will wage war for their soda, Coca-Cola can safely ignore them. At least, for the moment.