Fanta originated as a result of difficulties importing Coca-Cola syrup into Nazi Germany during World War II due to a trade embargo. To circumvent this, Max Keith, the head of Coca-Cola Deutschland (Coca-Cola GmbH) during the Second World War, decided to create a new product for the German market, using only ingredients available in Germany at the time, including whey and pomace – the "leftovers of leftovers", as Keith later recalled. The name was the result of a brief brainstorming session, which started with Keith exhorting his team to "use their imagination" ("Fantasie" in German), to which one of his salesmen, Joe Knipp, immediately retorted "Fanta!"
While the plant was effectively cut off from Coca Cola headquarters during the war, plant management did not join the Nazi Party. After the war, the Coca Cola corporation regained control of the plant, formula and the trademarks to the new Fanta product — as well as the plant profits made during the war.
Fanta is known for its upbeat advertising; in the United States, it showcases The Fantanas, a casted group of young female models, each of whom promotes an individual Fanta flavor. For the re-introduction of Fanta in the United States, Coca-Cola worked with the ad agency Ogilvy (NYC) in 2001. After a brainstorming session, the Ogilvy creative team of Andrea Scaglione, Andrew Ladden and Bill Davaris, created the tagline "Wanta Fanta!" which became the jingle for the Fantanas in the broadcast campaign. The campaign lasted from summer 2001, in the form of a successful trial run, to October 1, 2006. Three years later, in June 2009, Fanta re-launched the campaign. They also held a talent search to find the pineapple Fantana, and, in September selected Shakira Barrera to become the fourth Fantana. After Barrera won the search, she spent a year at her post, with the latter six months as an actual Fantana called Lily. Three months before her leave, another search was hosted, with the winner being Brittany Hampton. However, her name wasn't revealed as the campaign is now being put on hiatus for 2011. They are currently using the international campaign with the slogan of "More Fanta, Less Serious!".
In India, Fanta entered the market as a substitute for the then-popular Indian soft drink Gold Spot. When Coca-Cola re-entered the Indian market in 1993, it bought Gold Spot from Parle and withdrew it from the market in order to make space for Fanta.
Fanta Shokata (labels upside down as part of the "turn the world upside down" ad campaign)
Fanta Orange Zero, sugar free version of Fanta Orange
There are over 90 different flavors worldwide. In Serbia, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia and some other countries, there is "Fanta Shokata" (a wordplay between "soc" -elderberry in Romanian- and "shock") based on an elderflower blossom extract drink, traditional in Romania (where it is called Socată), Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia and other Balkan countries. In Switzerland and the Netherlands, the local blackcurrant is used to produce Fanta as well. Some identical flavors have different names in different markets.
The original formula of Orange Fanta, available in Germany, Austria, and other countries, is completely different from the drink marketed in the United States as Fanta Orange.
Primary competitors to Fanta have included Tango, Mirinda, Slice, Sumol, Crush, and Tropicana Twister. Fanta was the second drink to be produced by Coca-Cola, after the original Coca-Cola. Fanta was recently relaunched in Singapore after being absent for a period of time.
In Australia, there is a newly released Fanta Lab, in many shopping malls. Fanta Lab provides 2 identical "Labs" where there is a set of water filter cups to the side and a touch screen, which shows the four available Australian flavours, Mango-Passionfruit, Orange, Grape, and Raspberry, and you can choose 4 flavours to be mixed. Therefore, you can mix 2 flavours twice, 3 flavours, 4 flavours, or just get a free cup of original Fanta, with just one flavour. Once all four columns in the animated cup that is on the screen are filled, the person who is controlling that particular "Lab", will ask you to pull a metal lever, thus causing the chosen flavours to be mixed.
In Japan, Fanta is a very popular soft drink, and is almost synonymous with the word "pop" or "soda". The Japanese market often issues seasonal rare flavours like yuzu.
A 2005 British television advertisement for Fanta Z showed a couple enjoying a picnic on a beach and drinking from their cans of Fanta Light, but then calmly spitting the drink out. Others were also shown spitting the drink out in similar ways. The viewers complained that the ad condoned spitting and that children were reported to have copied the ad. A head teacher said that a number of children in the playground had also mimicked the commercial. The majority of complainants to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the images were disgusting and thought it was inappropriate because spitting posed a health risk. The ad became restricted to the post-9pm broadcasts. The ASA agreed that viewers would not want children to see something that is perceived as anti-social, however it did not consider that the images showing people spitting would cause widespread offense or pose a significant health risk.