The peculiar appeal of Tab cola

Tabenergy_1Lots of Tab news lately. Brand Noise has a post about Tab Energy, a new energy drink that’ll be sold in slim, Red Bullish cans. Among the early reviewers, Starving Actor’s Loft in Harlem seems to like it, but he did get it for free. And in The New Yorker, Ben McGrath uses the Tab Energy launch to talk about the cult of Tab freaks, which apparently include Steve Brill. The piece suggests that Tab’s “peculiar flavor (‘It tastes like metal’) and reputation for unhealthiness” are actually its strengths. We don’t have much to add here except, OK, here’s a vintage Tab ad. Enjoy.

—Posted by Tim Nudd

UPDATE: I, on the other hand, have plenty to add concerning the cult of Tab, because for the last 20-some-odd years I’ve been a recovering Tabaholic, forced into withdrawal by the 1982 launch of Diet Coke, which effectively led to the mass disappearance of those iconic pink Tab cans from our nation’s store shelves. It’s been a long hard road, as I was a sympathizer with the members of the Tabaholic Union at my suburban New York high school once upon a time and then progressed inexorably to using Tab as my drug of choice to get me through those nights writing papers on deadline in college. (At 35 cents a can, it was, fortunately, a pretty cheap habit.) Yeah, these days I drink Diet Coke, but it’s never been quite the same, and having once, around 1990, in a moment of relapse, bought a dusty can of Tab in a Manhattan bodega, I have to admit it does taste like metal. On the other hand, that was always the point.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor