US: Why Coca Cola Invented Fanta During World War II

Poland could invoke NATO Article 4 after Russian-made missiles reportedly struck a Polish village. Here's what that means.

  Poland could invoke NATO Article 4 after Russian-made missiles reportedly struck a Polish village. Here's what that means. Multiple Eastern European countries previously invoked NATO Article 4 in February following Russia's invasion in Ukraine.Russia's ongoing assault on Ukraine has forced the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its 30 member countries to continually grapple with the role they should play in the nearly nine-month conflict, but the Tuesday incident seemingly marks the first time Russian President Vladimir Putin's war has directly impacted a NATO member.

The first Coca-Cola was served at a pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia in 1886 (via Coca-Cola), and it didn't take long for it to become the most popular beverage in the world. By the time the United States entered the war in Europe in 1941, Coca-Cola was as American as apple pie, using jingles in their advertising to help the brand get heavily embedded in U.S. culture.

Bottle of orange Fanta in front of the wheel of a vehicle © Khashayar Kouchpeydeh/Unsplash Bottle of orange Fanta in front of the wheel of a vehicle

During World War II, the importance of getting the beloved soda to troops stationed overseas wasn't lost to the United States military, who put systems in place to do everything they could to ensure its soldiers were never without the refreshing beverage (via American GI Museum). According to The Coca-Cola Company, the company's president made a vow "to see that every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for 5 cents, wherever he is and whatever it costs the Company."

Deadly missile strike adds to Ukraine war fears in Poland

  Deadly missile strike adds to Ukraine war fears in Poland PRZEWODOW, Poland (AP) — Since the invasion of Ukraine more than eight months ago, Poland has aided the neighboring country and millions of its refugees — both to ease their suffering and to help guard against the war spilling into the rest of Europe. But a missile strike that killed two men Tuesday in a Polish village close to the Ukrainian border brought the conflict home and added to the long-suppressed sense of vulnerability in a country where the ravages of World War II are well remembered.

But what about the Germans?

Necessity Breeds Invention

Vintage WWII Coca-Cola ad © chatchawin jampapha/Shutterstock Vintage WWII Coca-Cola ad

Due to embargos and transportation problems, the ingredients used in the production of Coca-Cola were prevented from reaching behind the lines of war, and the world's favorite carbonated concoction couldn't be produced within Germany, leaving a big hole in German society (per Atlas Obscura). The Germans loved Coke just as much as the Americans did.

At that time, Max Keith was in charge of Coca-Cola's German operations, and his ingenuity and resourcefulness were about to be tested. Keith and his team worked with whatever they had available in war-torn Europe. He told his staff to put their imagination -- fantasies in German -- to work to create a new beverage, and in 1940, Fanta was born. Beet sugar was used to sweeten it, and fruit scraps gave it flavor. The whey left over from cheese-making went into the recipe, and while whey in a fizzy beverage doesn't sound very appetizing, Fanta rose in popularity nonetheless.

Coders In Fighter Squadrons Likely Coming As Drone Revolution Looms

  Coders In Fighter Squadrons Likely Coming As Drone Revolution Looms Sally Krutzig, reporter from The Idaho Statesman, joins CNN's Michael Smerconish to discuss the killings of four University of Idaho students who were found stabbed multiple times in their off-campus home.

In 1955, the Italians came up with a recipe made with local citrus that we might recognize today -- the iconic orange Fanta.

The Dark Side Of Fanta's History

Eight flavors of canned Fanta © OlegDoroshin/Shutterstock Eight flavors of canned Fanta

Fanta's unconventional success story isn't without its dark side. According to Snack History, Max Keith wasted no time marketing his new soft drink to the Nazis, and it wasn't long before it was Germany's new official drink despite the reports of forced labor being used to produce it. Fanta's questionable reputation continued into the 21st century prompting Coca-Cola to release a statement in 2015 denying its association with Hitler and the Nazis.

Today, Fanta is available in 188 countries worldwide (via Facebook) and in a myriad of flavors. High fructose corn syrup is used as a sweetener in the Fanta sold in the United States, but many other countries use sugar to sweeten the drink. Internationally, you can find it in unique flavors such as dragonfruit, kolita in Costa Rica, and one in Japan that tastes like salty watermelon.

Fanta has come a long way in its 75-plus-year history and today's Fanta has none of the dubious ingredients of the original: no scraps, no beet sugar, and no whey.

Read this next: Coca-Cola Hacks You Need To Start Using

Best Vietnam War Movies, Ranked .
The Vietnam War has an infamous and dark history, and these great films chronicle the pain and difficulties that many American soldiers faced.Updated December 3rd, 2022: If you're a fan of engrossing and honest Vietnam War films, you'll be happy to know we've added additional content to this list.

See also