There exists a few generations of kids now who have probably never heard of Tab outside of a throwaway joke in Back to the Future. But rest assured, it was a real, actual soda at one point—and you'd be surprised at how many people want to bring it back from the dead:
Coca-Cola [had] its reasons for killing Tab. The product was cut as part of a sweeping reduction of Coca-Cola's beverage portfolio, announced in 2020. The reasoning was clear: The 200 brands on the chopping block — half of Coke's portfolio — together made up just 2% of Coca-Cola's total revenue, CEO James Quincey said. It just wasn't worth it for to keep pouring resources into these flagging products.
"It was a hard decision to discontinue TaB," a company spokesperson told CNN Business. "In order to continue to innovate and give consumers the choices they want, we have to make tough choices about our portfolio."
The spokesperson said that "there are no plans to bring [Tab] back."
That seems pretty open-and-shut! There's no way anyone would think to mount a campaign against such obvious corporate decisiveness, right?
Wrong! This is Tab we're talking about! This was a soda so popular that people used to carry it around in their briefcases.
So they're going for it:
Adam Burbach noticed a flurry of activity online after Coke announced Tab's demise. Across social channels, fans were mourning the product and wondering whether they could change Coca-Cola's decision.
"A lot of people [were] saying, we should do something," he said. "The initial ... thought behind the committee was coordinating efforts so that we had a single voice."
Burbach took action. He launched a full-blown campaign to bring back the soda along with a core group of fans, including Priest, that calls themselves the SaveTabSoda Committee. The group has coordinated call days, encouraging fans to bombard Coca-Cola's customer service line with (polite) phone calls and to send notes to Coca-Cola's leadership team.
Yeah, somehow I don't think fielding that many calls is gonna put Coke in the best of moods.
But maybe that's the point: Just wear them down until they give in!
It could work, although Coke isn't showing any signs of backing down:
"We appreciate the passionate legion of Tab lovers who have reached out and who embraced the brand for nearly six decades," the company spokesperson said.
That's corporate-speak for "bless your hearts, now please shut up." If you've been dismissed as a "passionate legion" by Coke Headquarters, you're probably not going to move many hearts over there.