Food and Drink

6 Differences Between Fanta (Orange) in the UK & the US

fanta orange

Fanta is the orange fizzy drink we all know and love. But there is a debate as to why this ‘orange’ drink is different in the UK and the US. With those asking the question, which is better, American Fanta or British Fanta?

In this article, we discuss what the differences are between British and American Fanta. Not to mention, where you can bag yourself some US Fanta in the UK.

What Are the Differences Between British and American Fanta (Orange)?

There are several differences between Fanta, or more specifically Fanta Orange, in the UK and the US. This has caused online controversy as to which Fanta, if any, is better. The debate has discussed the differences in colour, taste, and even sugar content.

We’ve found six important distinctions between British and American Fanta. So let’s dive in.

1. UK Fanta contains real orange juice

The first difference between UK and US Fanta we’re going to discuss is the ingredients. It’s relatively well known that Fanta Orange in the UK includes real orange juice, whereas the US version does not.

There are obviously more differences in the ingredients. But we’ll discuss this in more detail later as we look at other aspects of Fanta Orange such as its colour, taste and sugar content.

Here are the ingredients for Fanta Orange in the UK and US below. 

Fanta Orange (UK) Ingredients

Carbonated Water, Sugar, Orange Juice from Concentrate (3.7%), Citrus Fruit from Concentrate (1.3%), Citric Acid, Vegetable Extracts (Carrot, Pumpkin), Sweeteners (Acesulfame K, Sucralose), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Malic Acid, Acidity Regulator (Sodium Citrate), Stabiliser (Guar Gum), Natural Orange Flavourings with Other Natural Flavourings, Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid)

Fanta Orange (US) Ingredients

Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (To protect taste), Natural Flavours, Modified Food Starch, Sodium Polyphosphates, Glycerol Ester Of Rosin, Yellow 6, Red 40

2. There’s 78% more sugar in US Fanta

The next difference between British and American Fanta that’s coming under fire is its sugar content. It should come as no surprise that the UK version has less sugar than the US version. This is in part due to the UK’s restriction on sugar in soft drinks, the “sugar tax”.

Sugar Tax in the UK

The sugar tax sees that anything above 5g of sugar per 100ml is taxed at 18p per litre. Smartly, Fanta swerved this cost altogether by reducing their sugar contents below the 5g threshold. What was previously 6.9g per 100ml, then became 4.6g per 100ml – as we know it today.

In contrast to this, the US version of Fanta Orange has considerably more. In fact, if we look at sugar content per 330ml there is a discernable difference:

  • UK: 23g sugar per 330ml
  • US: 41g sugar per 330ml

There is a whopping 78% more sugar in the US version of Fanta Orange than there is in the UK.

Calorie Difference

Similarly, if we look at the calorie difference between the UK and US versions we see a similar story.

  • UK: 380 calories per two-litre
  • US: 960 calories per two-litre

There are 580 more calories in an American bottle of Fanta Orange than there is in the UK. This works out at 152% more calories in the US version.

3. US Fanta has a more synthetic colour

One of the most obvious differences to spot is the ‘orange’ colour we see in each bottle. The US version of Fanta Orange is a much deeper shade of orange, verging on red. While the UK version is a much lighter orange colour, resembling more of a yellow.

Fanta Orange colour in the US (left) and UK (right)
Fanta Orange in the US (left) and UK (right)

The reason for the orange colour in the UK Fanta is because it refers to the colour and taste of the citrus fruit. The American Fanta refers to the colour, being an orange soft drink.

The colour difference is also due to the ingredients in the drink. The American Fanta Orange contains colourants, Red 40 and Yellow 6 for its energetic colour. While the UK gets its colour from vegetable extracts (pumpkin and carrot).

4. There are flavours that are region locked to the UK and US

Outside of the Fanta Orange debate, the list of flavours in the UK and US differs as well. One of the most popular Fanta flavours in the UK is Fanta Lemon, while the US doesn’t stock it. Similarly, the US has flavours that the UK don’t have, such as Peach.

While the UK blends flavours together such as Strawberry and Kiwi, the US likes to keep it to just one. The other distinction is the UK has lots of ‘Zero’ additions to their flavours, some exclusively. While the US ‘Zero Sugar’ is restricted to just Fanta Orange.

Here are all the different flavours of Fanta in the UK and in the US.

Fanta (UK) Flavours

  • Fanta Orange (and Zero)
  • Fanta Fruit Twist (and Zero)
  • Fanta Grape Zero
  • Fanta Lemon
  • Fanta Raspberry Zero
  • Fanta Strawberry & Kiwi Zero
  • Fanta Watermelon Zero
  • Fanta Pineapple & Grapefruit

Not to mention, Fanta has brought out a flavour in the UK, ‘What the Fanta Zero Sugar’. Which changes flavour every year and people have to guess what the flavour is. This year’s flavour is Strawberry Cheesecake Zero Sugar – an interesting choice to say the least.

Fanta (US) Flavours

  • Fanta Orange (and Zero Sugar)
  • Fanta Pineapple
  • Fanta Strawberry
  • Fanta Grape
  • Fanta Beach
  • Fanta Berry
  • Fanta Pina Colada

5. Fanta in the US has a more artificial taste

There’s not too much to be said about the taste of Fanta, as it’s largely subjective. But the common consensus online preaches that Fanta in the US is smoother, sweeter and less fizzy. While Fanta in the UK is much tangier and fizzier.

Fanta in the UK tastes like fizzy orange juice. Whereas American Fanta tastes more artificial, going for more of an orange-coloured flavour rather than the fruit. The reason for this is that the UK variant contains 3.7% orange juice from concentrate, while their American counterpart opts for artificial sweeteners and fructose syrup.

6. The US has fun bottle shapes and sizes

The last variation between the two regional variants is the bottle sizes. This, of course, isn’t specific to Fanta, as most soft drinks will change size and shape across different regions. But there are differences in Fanta bottles, both in shape and size between the UK and US.

Fanta has one signature size and shape with the 500ml bottle in the UK. In the US, Fanta has several different-sized and shaped bottles, some are shorter and plumper, while others are longer.

Fanta Orange (US) bottle sizes chart
Fanta Orange US bottle sizes

Here are the different bottle sizes for Fanta in the UK and US. It’s worth noting that the UK use milliletres, whereas the US uses fluid ounces.

Fanta (UK) Bottle Sizes

UK Fanta Bottle Size (ml)US Bottle Size (fl oz)
150ml Can5 fl oz
250ml Can8 fl oz
300ml Can10 fl oz
330ml Glass Bottle11 fl oz
500ml Bottle15 fl oz
1.25L Bottle42 fl oz
1.5L Bottle50 fl oz
2L Bottle67 fl oz

Fanta (US) Bottle Sizes

US Fanta Bottle Size (fl oz)UK Bottle Size (ml)
7.5 fl oz Can221ml
12 fl oz Can354ml
12 fl oz Bottle354ml
13.2 fl oz Bottle390ml
16 fl oz Can473ml
16.9 fl oz Bottle499ml
20 fl oz Bottle591ml
67 fl oz Bottle2L

Final Thoughts from UK vs. USA

Turns out there are quite a few differences between Fanta in the UK and in the US. But the best way to find out the differences, and which one you like better, is to try them for yourself. You might be surprised, you might like the other bottle that much more.

If you liked our article on Fanta, why not check out our blog on the differences between Dr Pepper in the UK and in the US?

UK vs. US Fanta FAQ:

Can you buy American Fanta in the UK?

Yes, you can buy American Fanta in the UK. There are American ‘Candy’ stores in the UK that will import American Fanta and all its flavours. You can also purchase American Fanta online from the UK, in online stores such as the American Candy Store, American Fizz, and the UK Corner Shop.

Why does Fanta Orange taste different in the UK than in the US?

There are several reasons that Fanta Orange tastes different in the UK than in the US. The first of which being different ingredients, and the second of which being the sugar content. 

Coca-Cola, the parent company of Fanta, adjusts the recipe for Fanta Orange in each country. The flavour changes as a result of Fanta appealing to consumers with different tastes and sugar content.

Why is American Fanta Orange darker?

The reason that American Fanta Orange is darker than the UK, is because most countries outside of the US use real orange juice. The Fanta Orange in the US, does not, however. The US version is artificially flavoured, and coloured, and uses high fructose corn syrup.

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