Global beverage company Coca-Cola has announced that it will stop the production of TaB diet soda in the US by 31 December.

The move is said to be part of the company’s strategy to retire select underperforming products and focus on brands with greater potential for growth and scale.

The Coca-Cola Company innovation and marketing operations global head Cath Coetzer said: “We’re challenging ourselves to think differently about our brands to accelerate our transformation to a total beverage company.

“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.”

TaB was first launched by the Coca-Cola Company in 1963 as a ‘diet’ soft drink.

The zero-calorie soda was sweetened using saccharine and was initially marketed to women.

Currently, TaB is also sold in South Africa.

Coca-Cola North America Diet Coke group director Kerri Kopp said: “We’re forever grateful to TaB for paving the way for the diets and lights category, and to the legion of TaB lovers who have embraced the brand for nearly six decades.

“If not for TaB, we wouldn’t have Diet Coke or Coke Zero Sugar. TaB did its job.

“In order to continue to innovate and give consumers the choices they want today, we have to make decisions like this one as part of our portfolio rationalisation work.”

Other products that the beverage giant is planning to discontinue include those under Odwalla, Coca-Cola Life and Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, ZICO coconut water, as well as regional offerings such as Northern Neck Ginger Ale and Delaware Punch.

From its international portfolio, the company is planning to discontinue its Vegitabeta in Japan and Kuat in Brazil.