Fanta is a rather fantastic example of how difficult situations can be builders of something so successful. It is the German diamond to the world which was developed under times of crisis and pressure.
The story begins when the Coca-Cola bases in the United States, in and around the time 1940, failed to provide its Nazi German branch with the necessary syrups for the Coca-Cola drink.
Why did they fail?
The situation arose as one of the consequences of the Second World War. The war made it difficult to conduct shipping between Nazi Germany and the United States. Being completely dependent on the US for the then-infamous-Coca-Cola, the German bottling plant was deprived of the main ingredients in the making, including the necessary Coca-Cola syrup.
While history in general is full of uncertainties and controversial theories, some people say that basically Hitler wished to provide his troops with the best of the oranges from Italy.
But the more popular and real take on this is that the CEO of the German plant, Max Keith didn’t want the downfall of the plant and had to work up his hat-rack. His basic concept and plan was to utilize whatever came handy and could be found amidst the scenes of the war to make something that could compensate for the incurred losses.
The main ingredients of the original German Fanta were apple fiber and a cheese by-product. Doesn’t indicate much of the present day Fanta taste, does it? Max used the apple fibers from cider presses left over and the cheese by-product was “whey”.
Now, it still doesn’t sound much like the Fanta we know, eh? It’s because the first ever Fanta made was a yellow beverage with a different flavor than the popular Fanta Orange of present times. The interesting thing is, the flavor of Fanta kept fluctuating through the period of the war, depending on the available ingredients.
Thus, Fanta was created and became quite popular. It didn’t let the Germans feel the absence of Coke from the markets while also getting a chance to introduce itself in the US, after the war. The originality of Fanta is still preserved with the idea that it never was a standard drink made of the same key ingredients; its specialty lied in its variability. Fanta even today, has various flavors, popularized region-wise, changing according to people’s taste preferences and locally available ingredients. Although, the Fanta Orange stays the basic identity of the idea of Fanta in people’s minds.
The name Fanta has an unusual story as well. There was a contest held to decide upon the name of the new beverage and the name Fanta came from the German word Fantastisch, meaning fantastic from the contest.
It wasn’t until a few years after the war ended that Fanta got popularized among other countries, Brazil being the largest consumer in the present world; Europe and South America being bigger consumers of Fanta than the United States today.