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Coca-Cola Discontinues TaB Diet Soda in Product-Growth Plan

Coca-Cola says that it will discontinue Tab diet soda to focus on products that achieve accelerated growth.

Coca-Cola  (KO) - Get Coca-Cola Company Report announced on Friday that it will drop Tab diet soda as per its plan to get rid of any underperforming products by December.

Launched in 1963, Tab was introduced as the company’s first diet soft drink and became popular in the 1970s and early 1980s before Diet Coke was launched, causing a decline in Tab’s market share. The brand was also produced in South Africa.

But the company decided to keep producing the brand to meet the soda’s market demand, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Retiring products under Tab paves the way for additional investments in powerful brands such as Diet Coke as the top no-calorie sparkling brand in the U.S. and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar as the leading growth engine for the category, said the company in a statement.

Other products that will drop from the Coca-Cola’s portfolio include Northern Neck Ginger Ale, Delaware Punch, Coca-Cola Life, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Sprite Lymonade, products under Odwalla, Vegitabeta in Japan, and Kuat in Brazil.

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The beverage company seeks to drop other products that are losing relevance and are not accelerating growth. On that basis, a team was assigned to audit the company’s portfolio over the last few months to mark the products with trace records “of sequential and incremental growth.”

“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 Cath Coetzer, Global Head of Innovation and Marketing Operations at Coca-Cola.

The company’s decision to discontinue Odwalla products, for example, freed up resources to invest in growing brands such as Minute Maid and Simply, according to Coca-Cola. That decision encouraged the company to add innovations to its portfolio such as Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, Coca-Cola Energy, and AHA flavored sparkling water.

Coca-Cola’s portfolio resets better position the company to expand regional brands to a global stage. “We know we need to get smarter and more effective with our marketing by making sure every dollar we invest on behalf of the portfolio is in service both to the consumer and our business,” Coetzer said.

Earlier this month, Coca-Cola announced that it will stop producing its Zico coconut water by the end of the year to focus on products that can achieve a large scale. In 2013, Coca-Cola acquired Zico which was the No. 2 brand in the market at a time when coconut water was a growing category in the U.S. The market leader was Vita Coco, the Journal reported.