Fans are struggling to get their hands on an iconic soda brand — and they're freaking out

Kate Taylor
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  • Tab lovers are scrambling to get their hands on the cult-favorite diet soda. 
  • A major Tab bottler and distributor, Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, discontinued Tab in parts of its 14-state territory in recent months.
  • Fans of the drink have made websites and Facebook pages to celebrate Tab, with more than 1,300 people signing a petition to save the beverage.

Fans of Tab are scrambling to get their hands on the soda. 

The diet soda's cult following has struggled to find stores stocking the drink in recent months after a major bottler, Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, discontinued Tab in parts of its 14-state territory, The New York Times reported.

The Times spoke with obsessive fans of the drink who traveled across state lines and paid high prices online to get their Tab fix. Fans of the drink — which peaked in popularity in the early 1980s — have made websites and Facebook pages to celebrate Tab, with more than 1,300 people signing a petition to save the beverage.

"It's like a real cult community," Natalie Kueneman, the creator of ILoveTab.com, told The Times. "I get five to 10 emails a month from people asking where they can find Tab."

One person told The Times they paid someone to drive 90 miles to the nearest store selling Tab. Others have networks of Tab-loving friends who alert each other when new shipments come in. Calvin Boyd told The Times one of his friends secured shipments of Tab to a local Publix from a store with a steady supply in a different state. 

"“It’s almost like a drug deal," Boyd told The Times. "'Hey man, can you get me a fix?' I'm a little bit traumatized."

Some customers have been taking their anger out on Coca-Cola online, though the beverage giant told Business Insider that the drink has not been discontinued. 

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1050820786821492736?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
BRING TaB BACK TO THE MOST@DEDICATED LOYAL CONSUMERS Coca-Cola EVER HAD! @cocacola@CokeCCBCChttps://t.co/xrUmzH1hkw Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1049965641078398976?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
I think we need a new movement to RETURN TAB to our stores!!@CocaCola@CocaColaCo@CocaColaLife#BringBackTab#Tab4Everhttps://t.co/zz5k5XUE74 Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1049305329970937857?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Good morning @CocaCola Rumors going around about Tab being discontinued. Do you have any information about this? EXTREMELY CONCERNED, LIFE LONG TAB DRINKER over here. HELP. #saveTabCola Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1049126276756332544?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Hey @CocaCola is Tab being discontinued? There’s rumors flying around. #savetabcola

"For years, TaB has been available in select locations and stores across the country as local bottlers have the option to choose whether to sell TaB based on local preferences," Coca-Cola representative Kate Hartman said in an email. "We know there are passionate TaB fans, and this is why the product continues to be available for sale online nationwide."

Read The New York Times' full report here »

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