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In Medean Twist, Coca-Cola Kills Off Tab, Its First Diet Soda

Plus, Heineken and AriZona are collaborating on a hard seltzer, and more news to start your day

Rows of Tab soda cans displayed on a grocery shelf. Photo by Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images

RIP Tab, a relic from decades past

After a 57-year run, it’s the end of the line for Tab, Coca-Cola’s first diet soda, the beverage giant announced on Friday.

The zero-calorie drink, which is sweetened with saccharin and reportedly tastes “like bad medicine,” per CNN, was popular in the 1970s and ‘80s (it was even referenced in the 1985 film Back to the Future). Diet Coke’s debut in 1982 and subsequent dominance in the diet-soda category eclipsed Tab, but it maintained a cult following throughout the decades.

“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.”

Like many other companies, Coca-Cola is in the midst of streamlining its offerings amid a pandemic that has upended sales and supply chains. The corporation previously announced that it is discontinuing Odwalla and Zico coconut water, among other products.

And in other news…

  • On Sunday a federal judge delivered a scathing ruling against a Trump administration plan to cut SNAP benefits for nearly 700,000 unemployed people during the pandemic. [WaPo]
  • Heineken x AriZona are the latest to join the hard seltzer wars. [Food Dive]
  • Five retail workers on the absolute hell that this upcoming holiday season will likely be. [Modern Retail]
  • In a stunt that smacks of the KFC sandwich space launch, a British supermarket sent a chicken nugget into the stratosphere, because why not? [CNN]

All AM Intel Coverage [E]