Diet Rite vs TaB

I decided to try two diet colas not popular enough to make it into vending machines.  Admittedly I have been a Tab (or TaB) addict since I was a teenager and people always ask me “WHERE did you get that?  I didn’t even know they still made Tab!”  But it’s easy to find at major supermarkets (here in New England) like Stop & Shop, Shaw’s and Market Basket.  As for Diet Rite, if someone was holding a gun to my head right now I would not be able to remember where I got it.  All I know is it  was at some convenience mart in Framingham and knew I had to grab it when I saw it.

Diet Rite:
One of the first things I noticed just from the bottle was it’s light color.  I almost thought I grabbed an iced tea by accident.  I also noticed that there was very little fizz, if any, when I opened it and there were no bubbles on the side of the cup when I poured it.  It tasted a teeny bit carbonated when I tried it.  Ethan and I both noticed it was extremely sweet and chemicaly tasting,  like someone just dumped a bunch of Nutrasweet into water and barely colored it brown.

Tab:
Tab clearly had more bubbles and of course I will say nice things about it but even Ethan, who does not usually have an appreciation for Tab, said that it has more “body” and liked it better because it wasn’t as sickenly sweet as Diet Rite.  It’s also more cola tasting.  I could go on, I wish I could find  word for what makes Tab’s taste so awesome but maybe it’s just one of those things you have to experience.  I know most people that try it don’t like it but those who do really do.

Wrap up:
I will give Diet Rite a break and say something happened to it in the store to make it flat, but the overwhelmingly sweet “taste” was soapy and unenjoyable and I can’t imagine it any better with more bubbles in it.   Darling Tab was the clear winner (for the record I didn’t like Tab Clear) and I think the only runner up to it *might* be Diet Pepsi, which I may have to re-match in the future.

In case anyone has had either: Diet Rite or TaB?

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12 thoughts on “Diet Rite vs TaB

  1. Heh heh…”Darling Tab.” I haven’t had Tab since I was a little kid (back when TV only had three channels) – I’ll have to pick up a six soon and give it another try.

    I look forward to a Diet Pepsi / Tab smackdown. My favorite diet cola is Coke Vanilla Zero, followed by Coke Zero and Diet Pepsi. Diet Coke tastes like industrial waste.

  2. Diet Rite comes in a number of unusual flavors, including Tangerine, which is easily the best diet orange(ish) soda made. I’m kind of surprised you found it, because it’s mostly found in the South. Having the regular Diet Rite when it’s not flat makes a big difference.

  3. I’m in the south (NC) and can tell you that the bottle of Diet Rite you had is ancient, they changed their packaging at least a couple of years ago, if not longer. No wonder it wasn’t any good! I love the stuff, it’s one of the few diet drinks out there without caffeine and aspartame. They also make raspberry, tangerine, and white grape (which is wonderful) in addition to the cola.

  4. TAB would clearly be the winner…in my book it even wins agains Diet Coke by a long shot (Diet Coke tastes NOTHING like Coke, it’s too sweet). TAB, with a tiny dash of lime juice, actually comes pretty close to Coke Classic.

  5. TaB was the original ‘Diet Coke.’ Most of the time I could get TaB at any fountain that was selling Coke products way back in the 80’s. Then along came diet Coke and TaB started to fade away. Then aspartame came along and TaB was ruined for me. I switched to diet Coke but then gave that up because of the aspartame aftertaste.

    I loved TaB because it was spicier than most sodas and not as over-sweetened. Unfortunately the nasty aspartame taste completely over-powered the goodness that was TaB.

    I tried the energy drink version when it came out but it was watermelon flavored and not good at all.

    I miss real TaB.

  6. I loved Tab in the bottles as a kid and even into adulthood I would get a six-pack now and then. I stopped loving it when they switched from saccharin to aspartame (nutra-sweet). I wish they’d bring back that old formulation.

  7. Around here,12 packs of TaB are in large supply,and so are 2 liter bottles and 12 packs of Diet Rite. Never tried either,and snackgirl is right. Unless you look for a Dr.Pepper/7UP machine(which are found at a gas station in north Fargo and my local Wal-Mart.) there’s no chance of finding Diet Rite in a pop machine. Even the pop machine at Wal-Mart doesn’t have Diet Rite. That being said, Diet Mtn.Dew is literally the only diet soda I actually care about.

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