Tab (soft drink)

Tab (soft drink)

Infobox Beverage
name = TaB
bgcolor =

caption = Various Tab products
type = Soft drink
abv =
proof =
manufacturer =Coca-Cola Company
distributor =
origin =USA
introduced =1963
discontinued =
colour =
flavour =Diet Cola
variants = Tab Clear, Tab X-Tra, Tab Energy
related = Diet Coke, Coke Zero
website =

Tab (styled as "TaB") is a diet cola soft drink produced by the Coca-Cola Company.


Tab was introduced in 1963 by Coca-Cola. According to the Coca-Cola Web page, the beverage is called "Tab" because it helps people who keep tabs on what they consume. According to an "Atlanta Magazine" article published in May 1963, Coca-Cola's marketing research department used its IBM 1401 computer to generate a list of over 250,000 four-letter words with one vowel, adding names suggested by the company's own staff. The list was stripped of any words deemed unpronounceable or too similar to existing trademarks. From a final list of about twenty names, "Tabb" was chosen, influenced by the possible play on words, and shortened to "Tab" during development, and designer Sid Dickens gave the name its familiar capitalization pattern ("TaB") in the logo he designed.

Tab has been reformulated several times. It was initially sweetened with cyclamate. After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a ban on cyclamate in 1969, saccharin was used. In 1977, the FDA moved to ban saccharin. The ban proposal was rejected by the U.S. Congress, but it did require that all products containing saccharin carry a warning label that saccharin may cause cervical cancer. In 2000, the U.S. government lifted this requirement. A formula revision in 1984 blended saccharin with a small amount of aspartame; this is the formula that is currently marketed in North America. Tab sales have been dwarfed by those of Diet Coke, though enough people still prefer Tab to keep it in production.

At the height of its popularity, the Tab name was briefly extended to other diet soft drinks, including Tab Lemon-Lime and Tab Orange [] . In 1993, Coca-Cola released "Tab Clear" in the U.S. and UK, a curious move in the case of the latter as the original Tab was sold in the UK in the 1970s but was not a success. It was a "clear" cola that didn't taste very much like cola. It was withdrawn after less than a year, despite acquiring a number of devotees. Tab has of late become something of a cult beverage, with heavily dedicated drinkers.This is one of the few reasons Tab is still produced; its share of the national soft drink market is minuscule. Typically, Tab is now only found in supermarkets and convenience stores in 12-ounce cans, by 12-pack or 6-pack. It is also available in some places in two-liter bottles.

Tab Energy is an energy drink released in early 2006. Though sharing the brand name, Tab Energy does not taste like Tab. The drink is currently being marketed towards women.

This product's advertisements have been discontinued. But this product is still available in the market. According to Coca Cola CEO, "It shows you care. We want to make sure those who want Tab, get Tab."


Much of the advertising around Tab was geared towards women with an emphasis on the fact that it could help them keep physically fit, even going so far as to appeal to their desire to be sexy for men. A popular campaign in the late 60s carried the slogan "Be a mind sticker!," the insinuation being that Tab would help you keep an attractive body shape so that "when you can't be there with him" you would be in his thoughts, with "a shape he can't forget."

Tab brands

**Cola flavored; also came in Rootbeer, Orange, Ginger Ale, Strawberry, Lemon-Lime and Black Cherry
*Tab Clear
*Tab X-Tra
*Tab Energy

External links and references

* [ - the most comprehensive fan site and community]
* [ Tab brand information on Coca-Cola website]
* [ The World of Tab Soda]
* [ Tab Soda Web]
** [ Coca-Cola's Project Alpha article from Atlanta Magazine]
* [ of Tab]
* [ New Yorker article on high profile Tab fans]

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