Tab, retired.

Friday, October 16th, 2020

If you thought of me when you came across the news this morning that Tab, the original diet soda from Atlanta’s Coca-Cola company was (finally?) going out of production, well, yes, I had heard, thanks.

Will I be hoarding cans of the pink stuff? Hmm. Not sure at this exact moment.

Here’s the thing. My fondness for Tab had a lot more to do with taste than nostalgia, and I say that in the face of friends and family who crinkle up their faces at the very idea of it.

I like how it tastes. I especially like how it tastes mixed with a decent Root Beer. And yes, I’ve enjoyed that particular alchemy for decades.

Said one aquaintance (old friend?) on Twitter:

“I don’t care about Tab. It’s a waste of nostalgia.”

(and she then goes on to decry the discontinuation of Odwalla beverages as the real loss here. To each one’s own…nostalgia?)

I lived in Atlanta through the early 80s insanity of the introduction of New Coke and the throngs of people who packed supermarkets to hoard the old stuff and, later, would go out of their way to buy bottles of Coke made in Mexico (“Mexican Coke”) because it tasted better sweetened with real cane sugar than high fructose corn syrup (true enough).

I couldn’t even tell you what artificial stuff Tab is sweetened with at the moment, but I can tell you that Tab tastes good. It’s a strong taste, not at all (and never has been) a clone of a cola. And, as I’ve said so many times, it’s really great mixed 50/50 with Root Beer. Real sugar-cane-sweetened Root Beer or, say, Virgil’s Zero Sugar Root Beer, it’s great with Tab.

At some point in the near future, that won’t be an option for me. But since I tend to only go on two or three soda-buying splurges a year, I’m not sure I’ll notice. I’ll miss the bright pink packaging on the grocery store shelves, but, like many things, like analog television and coins, Tab has had a good run.

Maybe when it’s completely, totally gone I’ll gin up enough nostalgia to miss it. But there will always (?) be Root Beer.