Sunday, October 18, 2020

Closing Time for Tab

It's closing time for a once iconic drink.

The  drink Tab, Coca-Cola's first diet drink, first dating from around 1963, is being discontinued.


Just one calorie!  Amazing, back then.

Yes, Tab was an acquired taste, but once you acquired it, you were a fan.  Or at least I was.  I drank it through at least 1986, mainly because my employer in Arkansas (one of our fringe benefits) gave us free coffee, tea or soda (either diet or non-diet), all we wanted, during the work day.  The diet soda was Tab, and I grew to love the undertone of bitterness.  

But after I left Arkansas, I also left Tab.

Over the years, Tab became harder to get, but a local supermarket here in the Southern Tier did carry it from time to time.  Now, especially (I suspect) due to the pandemic, many companies are trimming their offerings.  Tab is one of the brands that will disappear.

I won't be surprised if it returns later, though.  I note that many feel that artificial sweeteners are bad for you, and this post will not discuss that controversy.  For the record, currently, Tab is (or, soon, was) sweetened with aspartame and saccharin. 

Saccharin, itself, has memories for me.  I remember my Dad, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in his late 40's (just around the time Tab came out, in fact) sweetening his coffee with saccharin, which came in tablet form back then.  

Here's a final toast to Tab:

Closing Time (with apologies to The Weather Channel, a channel that played this song during their news spot on Tab today).


  1. I worked with someone who always had a can of Tab nearby. I was never a fan, but I am not a big soft drink lover to begin with.

  2. I stopped drinking Tab the moment Diet Coke was introduced. Though I prefer Duet Pepsi.

  3. I was a Diet Rite fan. Until Diet Coke.

  4. My aunts all drank Tab back when they were sweetening it with cyclamates. They were all beside themselves when they heard the news that cyclamates caused cancer in lab rats. Funny, I also remember they were also cautioning that Chunkys had an abundance of rodent hairs in them around the same time. A Chunky and a Tab: not quite an RC and a Moon Pie...

  5. Never liked Tab. I'm not much on colas at all. I like rootbeer, and the diet A&W tastes pretty much like the non-diet, to me at least.

  6. As a teenager, my mother discouraged me from drinking diet anything. She did. I drank her stuff occasionally, but I never developed a taste for it.

    Then I got off caffeine (at 15 or 16). And my stomach protested carbonation (early to mid 20s). And I've been soda-free for 20+ years now. I never tried Tab, I don't think.


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