The history of Fanta

Fanta history

We’ve all had Fanta at one point or another. It is The Coca-Cola Company’s second oldest drink, consumed more than 130 million times a day worldwide, making it The Coca-Cola Company’s second largest brand outside of the US. Fanta Orange was introduced in 1955, but Fanta has been around much longer. And that thanks to a German during WWII.

The history of Fanta

Fanta was founded in 1940 in a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Essen. The syrup they used to make Coca-Cola was shipped from the United States, but World War II had made this all but impossible. So Max Keith, the factory’s CEO, needed a new drink to keep the factory going.

That drink was invented by the German chemist Schetelig. It was based on fruit flavor. That taste changed during the war. They had to use the ingredients that were available. The drink was then mainly made from whey and apple pulp.

The name ‘Fanta’

This is how Fanta got its nickname ‘Nazi drink’, but we know it under the name Fanta. After Max Keith had his alternative to Coca-Cola and was able to keep the factory going, he needed another name. Therefore, he organized a competition among his staff. They had to use their imagination and come up with a name. Joe Knipp, a salesman, then coined the name Fanta. The name is derived from the words ‘fantastic’ and ‘fantasievoll’, both of which are translated as imaginative.

Fanta as we know it now

Fanta got its famous orange flavor from the bottler in Naples in 1955. That’s how the drink was introduced in the US and Fanta Orange is still the most popular flavor worldwide. In 1969, Fanta Orange was even named the best-selling ‘flavor’ in the world.

Depending on the country, Fanta Orange may look or taste different. This is because The Coca-Cola Company takes into account the preferences per country. Oranges taste different in every country. In Spain, for example, they are more intense in taste and deeper in colour. Our taste preferences and expectations are subconsciously adjusted accordingly. Spaniards therefore prefer a sweeter Fanta with a darker color and Fanta takes the wishes of the customer into account.

More Fanta flavors

In 1969, Fanta began to expand its range. Now there are more than 90 flavors worldwide and you can regularly find a limited edition on the shelves.

Fanta glorifies Nazi Germany?

In 2015, Fanta celebrated its 75th anniversary. To celebrate, they launched a special retro bottle and made an accompanying commercial . In this video, a German voice-over talks about going back to the good old days. Only the good old days were WWII. Coca-Cola received a lot of negative reactions to this video and was therefore forced to adjust the ad. They also informed Buzzfeed that they are distancing themselves from Nazi Germany. So Nazi drink is just a nickname and you can enjoy your Fanta without feeling guilty.

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