Coca-Cola to Discontinue Diet Soda TaB as Part of Streamlining Product Portfolio

Coca-Cola said it will stop selling TaB and other of its “underperforming” products by December 31.

Coca-Cola had announced on October 17 that it plans to discontinue its underperforming products starting next year. With this move, it will include the company’s almost six-decade diet soda called TaB.

Closing TaB

After 57 years, multinational beverage company Coca-Cola said that it will phase out TaB, the company’s first diet soda by next year. Actually, the TaB drink gained a reputation when Coca-Cola introduced it in the 70s, CNN Business noted. It debuted in 1963, originally marketed as a zero-calorie drink. And only years later will it become a massive hit among Americans, even referenced in the classic film “Back to the Future.”

And then, in 1982, Coca-Cola launched its Diet Coke.

Streamlining the Lineup

But TaB will have to retire, along with several other “underperforming” brands. Coca-Cola said it will also discontinue ZICO coconut water, Coca-Cola Life, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, and Odwalla. Additionally, the company said it will even retire regional offerings like Northern Neck Ginger Ale, Delaware Punch, Japan’s Vegitabeta, and Brazil’s Kuat. By December 31, the company will no longer sell those products.

Meanwhile, CEO and chairman of Coca-Cola, James Quincey, said in a recent conference, “This is a golden opportunity for us to accelerate the curation of the portfolio that was an ongoing need.”

Particularly, the company said it had long planned to streamline its product lineup even before the COVID-19 health crisis. But with the pandemic upsetting the supply chain and consumer choices, it only accelerated such modification. Quincy added that the plan came into motion in a shorter time frame.

Redirecting Resources

In a press release, global head of innovation and marketing operations Cath Coetzer explained why they had to reduce their offerings. She said that the company aims “to drive impact and growth.”

They also had to decide which of their brands “are most deserving of our investments and resources.”

Also, Brad Spickert, senior VP of innovation and commercialization, said the company streamlined its packaging as well. In addition, with the revamp, Coca-Cola can also nurture local innovations.

“We believe it will set us up with more momentum behind stronger brands as we come out of this crisis,” Quincy said.

Phillip Malone

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