Have you ever drunk Fanta? Fanta is known to have more than 150 flavours worldwide, and is one of the most well known soft drinks in the world. However, Fanta also has quite an interesting history too, which is what I will talk about today.
As WW2 started, the US stopped exporting Coke’s ingredients to Nazi Germany. However, Coke was an important item in the military. Coke was able to boost morale the army, which made it needed in long-term wars. This meant that the fact that there wasn’t Coke in the army was quite a big disadvantage to the Germans and Max Keith, a German head of Coca-Cola GmbH. Max Keith built Cola factories in every country Germany conquered, but he didn’t have a single Coke to produce. In order to solve this problem, Nazi Germany and Max Keith had to find a drink that would boost morale of their armies instead of Coke. In order to solve this problem, Max Keith had developed a new recipe with his chemists. In order to provide a sweet taste without using much sugar, they used fruit scraps to sweeten the taste. Max Keith, who thought it was a success, branded it as “Fanta” after the word fantasy. This gave batches of Fanta different tastes as Fanta had to use any fruit scrap that was available, regardless of taste . However, with Keith’s efforts to keeping the company operating, there was one problem. Hitler didn’t want an American company in Germany, which meant Max Keith had the risk that he might be imprisoned. As a solution, Keith made friends with the Nazi Minister of Justice, Franz Gurtner, who appointed him to The Office of Enemy Property, but Keith refused. Though Keith didn’t accept the job, the plan succeeded, as Keith was safe from being imprisoned. Plus, he was able to sell Fanta to the Nazi soldiers and German citizens. Now Germany had a substance that could boost morale, just like Coke did for the Allies. Fanta soon became Germany’s signature soft drink. However, this didn’t last long. With losses in battles like D-DAY and The Battle of the Bulge in Ardennes, Germany was in trouble. Plus, due to the many bombardments of Berlin, numerous factories and buildings were destroyed, which put Keith in trouble as well. Keith started communicating with the US Coke HQ asking for help, being that Coca Cola GmbH was alive. Eventually. the US military found Keith in a destroyed factory.
Later, in the US, Keith became sort of a hero to the Coca Cola company for not being an official member of the Nazi party. Due to his efforts, Keith was made president of Coca-Cola-Europe. In 1955, Keith brought back Fanta with different ingredients, which is the Fanta we now know.