Tab Survived 'Artificial Sweetener' Scaremongering, But Couldn't Survive Consumer Changes

Tab Survived 'Artificial Sweetener' Scaremongering, But Couldn't Survive Consumer Changes

While it never regained its lofty status as the top diet soda, loyal Tab fans kept the brand alive. Soda giants caught flat-footedCoca-Cola and Pepsi, finding themselves behind the ball, scrambled to come up with their own diet soda offerings. For the name, Coke executives had one directive: Even though its taste was engineered to mimic Coke’s, it couldn’t be called Diet Coke. In 1969, the Food and Drug Administration banned the sweetener cyclamate after lab studies indicated that large doses of the sweetener led to bladder cancer in animals. While Tab contained two artificial sweeteners – saccharin and cyclamate – cyclamate was the more important of the two.

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