retail news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Coca-Cola is ending the manufacturer and distribution of Tab, its early-days diet soft drink that, despite doing just 0.1% of $22 billion in global diet cola sales last year, remained a sentimental favorite for a few stalwarts.  However, Coke is in the process of winnowing out old, tired and non-core brands.

The Journal writes:  "Coca-Cola said last month that it planned to slash its 500 brands by more than half, accelerating an ongoing culling effort in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The project is part of a restructuring that includes layoffs and a revamped marketing strategy. Already this year, the company has closed its Odwalla juice and smoothie business and has begun winding down its Zico coconut water.

"Now, it is completing a list of additional products to be taken offline this year, including Diet Coke Feisty Cherry; Sprite Lymonade; and Coke Life, a lower-calorie version of Coke sweetened with stevia that the company began rolling out in 2013. Coca-Cola is also retiring small regional brands such as Northern Neck Ginger Ale, Delaware Punch and Mendota Springs seltzer."

I haven't had a Tab in more than 30 years - but I must admit that just hearing the name made me smile.  Here's my bet - Coke takes Tab off the market for a few years, and then will bring it back as a limited edition, and will get lots of press coverage and decent sales.


•  Ahold Delhaize-owned, Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based The Giant Company announced that "beginning Oct. 16, customers can start earning rewards points toward a free turkey certificate every time they shop in-store or online using their Giant or Martin's card. Customers enrolled in Choice Rewards can also earn free side dishes, desserts and more using the Giant or Martin's app when they shop."

This is not an original observation, but this announcement prompts me to make it:  Late November is the only time stores can actually sell turkeys, so why do they choose that time of year to give the damned things away?