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Why Fanta Is So Popular Abroad, And The Nazi Connection

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Kenyans headed to the polls Wednesday to approve a new constitution. Some feared a repeat of the tumultuous 2007 election, when more than 1,000 people died in ethnic violence. But the process was peaceful enough to allow street vendors, who stayed home three years ago, to sell cold bottles of Fanta to queued-up voters. Fanta is the second-highest selling soda in most of Africa, trailing only Coca-Cola. Europeans and Latin Americans love the stuff, too. In the United States, it's in eighth place. Why is Fanta so much more popular abroad than in the United States?

Marketing and history. Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi debuted in the United States around the turn of the 20th century. Orange Fanta, which debuted in 1955 in Europe, didn't become widely available in the United States until the 1960s, because company executives feared it would undermine the strong position of their flagship cola. Fanta limped along with little marketing support and relatively poor sales until the mid-1980s, when Coca-Cola stopped selling it nationwide. (It remained available in regions with large immigrant populations, where families would recognize the fizzy orange beverage from their birth countries.) It went national again in 2001, and a comparatively strong marketing campaign has moved it from negligible sales volume in the 1990s to its current spot in the Top 10.

Read the whole story at Slate Magazine

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