Global differences in Fanta packaging
Updated: 1st October 2020
Upon analysis for my 2nd packaging blog post, I noticed something interesting about the drink I collect the most: Fanta. I noticed the subtle, or sometimes less subtle changes in branding between Fanta packaging across different countries. One quick thing to note is that almost all of the ones I have are from before the logo was changed so the new logo featured in the Danish can (the lighter green one in the top left) is not the result of differences between nations.
So sit back and enjoy as I take you on a journey into the world (quite literally) of Fanta!
So to start with, the design I am most familiar with, the UK's packaging seems to have an on/off relationship with illustration over time with some cans featuring basic illustrations of fruit with a thick white stroke border, and some with no illustration of fruit at all. Interestingly, the ones with the fruit illustrations also have an orange drawn onto them despite orange not being the flavour of the drink and both oranges are also drawn differently with the the one on the green can being set at a different angle and looking less flat.
Each one features a leaf displaying the words 'natural flavours' or 'with fruit juice' but it seems only one of them in this example has that same white stroke around it while the rest do not.
The way type is displayed is also varied across some of the cans. For example, if we look at the two 'special edition' cans in the middle, the flavour 'peach and apricot' is more playfully displayed by losing the alignment and also uses 'and' instead of '&' while the green can, and subsequently the others too opt for a more structured approach. However, the way the words 'special edition' are shown on the green can are actually more playful than the pink one by being shown on a sign icon instead of just curving around the shape of the logo's circular form like in the pink can.
Despite this can being from Denmark, I picked up this can while on a trip to nearby Finland in 2016 (just after Fanta changed their logo!)
The Danish can is different in the way that it is from a newer range of fanta designs that utilises their new 2016 logo.
The other notable difference compared to the UK cans are that the leaf displaying text has been changed to a speech bubble and we can see that instead of listing the fruits of the flavour underneath the logo, the flavour is listed within the logo's circle and bundles the flavours together under the name 'exotic.'
Some background on this drink:
The 'shokata' flavour is based on the traditional Romanian drink 'Socata' and is Elderflower-lemon flavoured.
In some parts of the world (including Switzerland where I got it), Fanta Shokata or 'blue fanta' is sold. The drink itself isn't actually blue in colour but it's often called this due to it's distinctively different blue bottle! Not much more to add to this but I found it cool and so I picked one up!
The thing I liked about the Spanish cans was that they actually had the primary part of the can with the logo on both sides of the can, one in Spanish and one in English. These must've been from when I was in Spain in around 2012 and I picked up 2 of them which was convenient for me to show both sides in one picture. Thanks to 11 year old me for that one!
Another thing different about this can compared to any of the others is the inclusion of the word 'taste' after the flavour of Strawberry (or before depending on the grammar structure of each language). This one also has no illustrations similar to some of the British ones.
I also quite like the bold use of the bright shade of red just because it seems in contrast to the paler, more toned down (but still warm) colour palette that Fanta tend to use.
United States of America
Moving away from Europe now brings us to the USA and their take on the Fanta brand. The first thing I noticed about these were that instead of using illustration like Europe, the fruit imagery used here are actually photographs! I personally prefer the illustrated look since it matches the rest of the flat vector design used on the packaging but each to their own.
With this being America, the cans are bigger and as a result, so are the elements of the design. However, it would seem that the point size for the flavour has been enlarged disproportionately compared to the cans of Europe with the exception of Spain who also uses a larger point size.
Also, in what I believe to be USA's packaging regulations, the product's generic title (such as 'GRAPEFRUIT FLAVOURED SODA WITH OTHER NATURAL FLAVORS') must be displayed on the bottle and the amount in both fluid ounces and millilitres is shown on the front rather than on the back.
In the case of the grapefruit one specifically, similarly to Spain, both English and Spanish is used but all on one side this time. This is likely due to the USA's large Spanish speaking population and you might be more likely to find these cans in the southern states closer to the border with Spanish speaking Mexico.
The American cans include my favourite colours of the lot with a very vibrant and shiny look. In particular, as mentioned in my previous blog post, the grapefruit one stands out to me as the best looking colour of all the Fanta cans I own.
I left the best until last, well at least in my opinion. There's just something cool about the twist Japan seems to be able to put on things! That being said I do question the brand consistency of Fanta in Japan since they seem to use a massive range of bottle shapes to the point you might not realise what you're buying if it weren't for the logo.
The picture on the left shows the two bottles that I personally own from my trip to Japan in 2015. The grape bottle has the most resemblance with it's Western counterparts as it uses the same composition structure and a bubbly 3D style illustration of a grape, my favourite style of the lot and also the most appropriate in terms of the communication of fun, bubbly and exciting bursts of flavour in my opinion. This bottle is also my favourite of them all as it retains the same brand consistency while using an interesting and different, equally bubbly bottle shape. However, the left bottle takes a completely different approach with a more sophisticated look with it's golden scroll and use of a serif typeface.
I did a bit of searching online and also came across yet another example of Japan's unusual Fanta packaging where the drink is contained in a goblet of sorts that appears to be fully circular with a bottle neck on top.
Here's all of them together: