Coca-Cola announced today that they will be unveiling new packaging for the Fanta series of sparkling beverages later this month (new packaging on left, old packaging below right). The US’s best selling fruit-flavored sparkling beverages will have contemporary graphics and colorful illustrations in their new packaging.
Also, Fanta Orange will be the first fruit-flavored sparkling beverage produced using 100% natural flavoring. “We know that during these difficult times, shoppers want to bring home products that the entire family will enjoy; we are pleased to invest in our products and offer the same great taste of Fanta now with 100 percent natural flavors,” said Santiago Blanco, vice president of Sprite and flavors, Coca-Cola North America. “The introduction of this new formulation and the new look of the Fanta line are part of our ongoing efforts to reinvigorate the sparkling beverage category in the U.S., and Fanta will play a critical part in this effort due to its strong connection with teens.”
Critics analyse that Fanta’s efforts are an attempt to solidify its position in the fruit-flavored beverage category. Given it’s positive image with parents (it’s caffeine free) and it’s appealing taste and flavor assortment geared towards teens, Fanta has indeed established a leadership position. With the new naturally sweetened offering, Coca-Cola brings Fanta in line with Coke and Sprite as naturally sweetened beverages, making it a more attractive choice to consumers.
The “same great taste” of naturally sweetened beverages are debatable. For better or worse, the refreshed packaging has not been released and still awaits consumer feedback. However, Fanta does not have as strong a brand relationship as Coke (and recently Tropicana) to ignite a riot given its change in formula or packaging.