FYI logo


Soda can be a 'Strange Brew'.

By mike javaPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Photo by Renato Trentin on Unsplash

Sugary drinks are by and large not particularly strange. They are exactly what they appear to be; sugar-infused beverages designed to remove all the money out of your pockets and rot your teeth. And they taste good. But then again some are just a little bit, well ok, Strange. Or at least their origins are a little suspect.

It all goes back to the Nazis.

World War 2 was an absolutely bad thing. Fairly certain that no one would disagree that the war was bad. People have to do without during a war. There is rationing of just about everything. People didn't have access to the items they were accustomed to having, like butter, sugar, or bullets. That kind of thing. One man, a businessman, found himself in Germany at the start of the war with a very sticky problem. Max Keith was head of Coca-Cola Gmbh or the German Coca-Cola Company. ( That is a lot of 'C' in one sentence, apologies).

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor thereby giving FDR (Franklin Roosevelt) the excuse to enter the war and bail out his buddy Winston Churchill, the Coca-Cola plant in Germany was cut off from its parent American firm. The ensuing embargo meant no Coke syrup for making yummy soda to wash down schnitzel. (note to self lookup schnitzel).

By Mark König on Unsplash

(Looks pretty good.)

No syrup meant no product, no product meant no company, no company meant; well Max didn't want to find out. He decided to invent a new soft drink, a special soft drink made from ingredients that he could actually get in wartime Germany. The ingredients amounted to apple pomace, beet sugar, and whey. This collection of things not normally meant to be combined was called the "leftovers leftovers". The Dutch Coca-Cola plant in Amsterdam had the same problem, no Coke syrup so Max made the new brand available, the Dutch version had elderberries as the main ingredient. Very Strange. The new German sensation; this thing would need a name.

What to call it?

By Matt Walsh on Unsplash

It is speculated that the word Fanta as the new beverage was to be called comes from the German word Fantasie which loosely translated means "Use your imagination". One can only assume this is what Max was yelling at what was left of his staff to come up with a name.

'Fanta!' was born.

The beverage did make reasonable sales. Over 3 million cases were sold in 1942. It was often not used as a drink but as an ingredient in soups or stew, as a sugar substitute.

After the war, the Coca-Cola company regained control of the German soda plant and the formula for Fanta. Also, the company took all the profits that the German version made during the war.

Coca-Cola re-launched the Fanta! brand name in the 1950s in response to Pepsi Co. introducing new drinks. Today Fanta! is everywhere with over 100 different varieties worldwide. Interesting to note that the most recognized flavor, orange, was developed in Naples, Italy, around 1955. Canadian orange Fanta! does contain real orange juice while the American version does not contain real oranges.

The Coca-Cola Company re-issued the original recipe in Germany in February 2015 as the 75th-anniversary edition. It was packaged in glass bottles just like the original. There was a short-lived advertising campaign that loosely hinted at bringing back Germanies 'good times'. This was taken to mean the Nazi regime as the good times, the ad was quickly pulled.

So the moral of this story, if indeed there is one, is that no matter what life throws at you: either lemons or hand grenades or apple pomace someone will try to sell you a soda pop.


About the Creator

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.