Introduced as a cola diet drink in 1963 by the Coca-Cola Co., Tab soda was marketed to people wanting "to keep 'tabs' on their weight." But the soda's ingredients were a recipe for disaster. It was initially sweetened with cyclamate, which was banned by the FDA in 1969. It was then reformulated with saccharin, which the FDA tried to ban in 1977. Though the saccharin ban was rejected, a new label was required that informed consumers of the risk of bladder cancer.
The Tab brand was briefly extended to Tab Lemon-Lime and Tab Orange. But in 1982, after the introduction of Diet Coke (surrounded by all the bells and whistles of a $100 million marketing campaign), Tab's days were numbered. In 1984, Diet Coke was reformulated to include blended saccharin and a small amount of aspartame, which is the way its ingredients stand today.
Today, Tab has a U.S. following of "Tabaholics," buying roughly 3 million cases in 2008, according to a piece by Fortune magazine
. As a symbol of the '70s, it has also made appearances in "Austin Powers" and "That 70s Show," Fortune notes. (iStock Photo)