SOUTH AFRICA – As South Africans struggle through these unprecedented times, those who love Coca-Cola’s diet soda, TaB, have been dealt another devastating blow.
TaB broke new ground in 1963 when it was introduced as the Coca-Cola Company’s first-ever “diet” soft drink. It became a cultural icon in the 1980s and maintained a small but loyal following over the last few decades, primarily among fans who grew up with the beloved brand.
It became one of the brand’s popular beverages, especially for those who have diabetes as it was regarded as one of the few soda drinks that they could drink.
In a statement by the company, they said that over the next two years, they will retire select products in various markets around the world.
They said that this move is part of a global portfolio refresh, prioritizing category-leading brands with the greatest potential for scale.
This portfolio refresh will allow the company to invest in scaling brands and creating a portfolio of drinks that are positioned to capture growth in a fast-changing marketplace.
Therefore, as part of this process, Coca-Cola plans to retire TaB globally; this includes South Africa.
Global head of innovation and marketing operations of the Coca-Cola Company, Cath Coetzer said they are challenging themselves to think differently about their brands to accelerate their transformation to a total beverage company.
“This isn’t about paring down to a specific number of product offerings under our brands. The objective is to drive impact and growth. It’s about continuing to follow the consumer and being very intentional in deciding which of our brands are most deserving of our investments and resources,” said Coetzer.
The company also outlined that for those consumers who prefer low calorie or low kilojoule, caffeine-free beverages, they continue to offer Coca-Cola No Sugar No Caffeine in South Africa and that further communication will be shared once plans and timelines have been finalised.
The discontinuation of the Coca-Cola TaB is not the only sad news that was brought to South Africans this year in the food and beverage industry.
In July, Nestle announced that some of their much-loved Chocolate Log and other chocolate brands will no longer be available on South African store shelves.
Nestle further confirmed the news with an official statement. “As Nestle, our purpose is to delight our consumers through tastier and healthier products. We know that one of the main drivers of the chocolate category is innovation and that consumers love new products.
“Taking this into consideration, we do discontinue certain products and introduce new ones to the market,” said Zweli Mnisi, head of public relations, media engagement, and content digital – Nestle East and Southern Africa Region.