A bottle of ‘Fanta Klassik.’ (Photo by Wikimedia Commons).

If you are one of the 130 million people who enjoy the refreshing fruit-flavored carbonated drink Fanta every day, there is a great chance that you associate this sweet drink with warm and beautiful childhood memories. But do you know that the history of Fanta is a memory that most people would rather forget?

The drink originated in Nazi Germany

The Coca-Cola company in Germany had a difficult time importing the syrup needed to make Coke during World War II considering that there was a trading ban against Nazi Germany. Since the company needed to survive somehow, Head of Coca-Cola Deutschland Max Keith, decided to create a different carbonated drink product for the German market. Instead of using ingredients that they had to import, Keith brainstormed with his team to come up with a product that will make use of leftover ingredients from other industries in Germany, such as whey from milk factories and apple pomace and scraps of various fruits from other factories.

Keith apparently chose the name Fanta from the German word fantastisch, which means fantastic. Keith’s product became a complete hit among the German people and other citizens under the German rule. By 1943, over three million cases of the refreshment were sold in Germany and occupied countries.

Fanta after the war

The Coca-Cola company in Germany was cut-off from the main headquarters during the war but as soon as the war was over, the parent company immediately regained control of the German plant, the Fanta formula, and all trademarks associated with the new drink.

Despite its popularity, Coca-Cola discontinued Fanta after World War II. If not for rival company Pepsi, people nowadays would not have tasted the controversial drink. In the 1950s Pepsi launched several drinks. Coca-Cola had no choice but to compete, so they relaunched Fanta in 1955. Fanta eventually reached global popularity and is now the second most popular drink outside the United States.