One of the world's first diet colas will soon find its way off grocery store shelves. Friday, Coca-Cola announced it was discounting the Tab soda brand as it continues to trim back its lineup throughout the remainder of the year. In a statement released by the company Friday morning, the Atlanta-based company revealed Tab diet soda and ZICO coconut water were the two biggest brands that will be discontinued by the end of the year.
Other discontinued products include Odwalla, Coca-Cola Life, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Neck Ginger Ale, Delaware Punch, Vegitabeta, and Kuat. The paring down comes as the soda-maker continues to refine its product line to ensure a "top-line growth," according to one Coke exec.
"We've worked closely with our bottling partners and customers to streamline our SKUs – not just products, but also packaging configurations," said Brad Spickert, senior vice president, innovation and commercialization, Coca-Cola North America. "We're creating oxygen to grow offerings we believe have the opportunity to be bigger and more scalable. AHA flavored sparkling water is an example of a priority innovation that requires significant resources – from branding and marketing, to retail sales, to commercial execution. Until now, our system has supported all SKUs with similar effort – time, money and energy – but all are not seeing the same return on effort."
Spickert added, "This is not a bottom-line efficiency play. It's a top-line growth play."
According to Coke global innovation head Cath Coetzer, the retiring of Tab and other product lines will help the company focus on boosting the production of other products more popular with consumers. According to the statement Coke released, the products fall under the Minute Maid and Simply families. It will also help the company create enough capital to launch new lines including Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, Coca-Cola Energy, and AHA Sparkling Water.
"We're challenging ourselves to think differently about our brands to accelerate our transformation to a total beverage company," Coetzer added. "This isn't about paring down to a specific number of product offerings under our brands. 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, and also taking the tough but important steps to identify those products that are losing relevance and therefore should exit the portfolio."
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