NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s the end of the road for a one calorie beverage blast from the past.

Coca-Cola says it will stop production of Tab cola, leaving a bad taste for the diet soda’s small but dedicated band of drinkers.

Fifty years ago, it was America’s favorite diet soda, marketed with catchy jingles.

“Sixteen ounces an just one calorie!” one jingle went.


One of their ad campaigns would raise eyebrows today for their sexism.

“You know, keeping your shape in shape has it’s rewards,” one commercial said. “Enjoy Tab and be a mind-sticker.”

But tastes change, and the Tab bubble popped by the 1990s.

The saccharin-sweetened soda is virtually impossible to find these days, pushed aside by diet coke and other drinks. So-called “Tabaholics” celebrated every time they scored a few cases.

Friday, Joy Robertson was deflated to learn Coca-Cola is ending production of her fizzy favorite.

“I am heartbroken. I have this left in all the world, this is all I have left, it’s not OK,” Robertson said.

Like many who grew up drinking Tab, Robertson says there’s an emotional, sensory diet cola connection.

“You know, I think for me, Tab is just a taste of home. It’s a taste of nostalgia,” Robertson said.

It’s also an acquired taste that many never acquired.

“Very diety. Very diety. So I shall not miss it,” one person said. “I just didn’t like it, remember the first taste, I was like ‘this is gross.'”

“That’s my memory of Tab. I didn’t really love it,” one woman said.

“If you’re not one of us, if you’re not Tab people, I don’t think you get it. And I understand that. But it’s just so good,” Robertson said.

A petition to save Tab was signed by several thousand, but to no avail.

Coke is putting Tab on ice.

You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.

  1. Amye says:

    This kills me. Diet Coke tastes like dirt & excrement and I’m not a fan of DietPepsi either. I wish I could find TAB somewhere to hoard it, now.

Leave a Reply