We’ve got ourselves a humdinger of a mid-level soda battle today! Both with a chip on their shoulder, something to prove, and a formidable list of hilarious discontinued flavors to consider, this should really be an epic bout.
Who will win? Who will lose, and be bumped down the list of soda obscurity behind the likes of Chek Cola, Grapico, RC, or that warm banana soda they sell in Haiti?
Full disclosure: I have not officially “tasted” a Faygo product. I don’t think I’ve had a Fanta either, so this judgment will be based largely on speculation, marketing and flavor ambitiousness.
Straight out of Detroit, we first have the Faygo brand. While I have never personally ventured to the fair city of Detroit, we do love underdogs here as well as woeful entities in need of support. This most definitely gives Faygo an early edge before we even start judging.
When I think Faygo, a certain image comes to mind. Specifically I think of a smoky room full of guys who look like KidRock with hats featuring their favorite NASCAR hero, having a hopeful discussion about the Lions’ 2014 playoff hopes. I think about guys who just got off their shift at Ford, each holding his own 2-liter, having a chat in the parking lot. I think about a father and son, ice fishing, each holding his own 2-liter. In other words, I think about America.
Faygo seems like an all-American beverage. I also like that they sell 3-liters. What better way to embrace U.S.A. freedom and stick it to Mayor Bloomberg and his highfalutin soda ban than by rockin’ a 3-liter Dr. Faygo?
I also like a lot of the ambitious flavors I’m seeing here. Some notables include the wine-flavored Chateaux Faygeaux, the faux beer Faygo Brau, Moonshine flavor, Cran-Jammer (‘Jam It In Yer Face!’), and Cactus Rush (Catch the Rush! Just Like Sitting on a Cactus!).
I absolutely appreciate the bold visionaries who came up with the above concoctions, but what target markets did they have in mind for say, Faygo Brau? Twelve-year-olds who had a hard day at the office, and just need to unwind with a cold, frosty Faygo Brau? How about Moonshine Faygo? Who is that for? People who like the gross taste of moonshine and its illegality, but do not wish to enjoy the intoxicating benefits?
All in all, Faygo is a very strong competitor. They have an impressively diverse offering of bodacious flavors to complement their well-regarded Root Beer: Candy Apple, 60/40 (which of course stands for 60% grapefruit, 40% lime, 89% corn syrup), Key Lime Pie, Pineapple Watermelon, and even a licorice-flavored brew.
The biggest minus I’m seeing here is that apparently Faygo has become associated with the Insane Clown Posse community. When the juggalos take to something of yours, it’s time to take a hard look in the mirror.
As a Coke subsidiary, Fanta could be considered the Goliath vs. the David that is Faygo in this scenario. While that doesn’t necessarily condemn them to a loss here, we’ll judge them a bit more harshly.
Fanta was actually created in Germany during WWII (strike 2) by a guy who was in charge of Coke Germany. He couldn’t get the supplies needed to make Coke because the Nazis were ruining everything including the cola industry, so he made Fanta with whatever resources were available.
After the war, Coke took over Fanta, and has been cranking it out ever since. Today more than 90 flavors of Fanta have been distributed around the globe, from Albania to Ohio to Somalia to Iceland to Sri Lanka to Papua New Guinea and most places in between.
Notable Fanta flavors include Kräuter (an herb-flavored thing sold in Germany), the Exotic, the most sensuous of Fantas, perfect for kicking off a night of romance; Taiwan’s unfortunate sounding Lactic White Grape, the Hungarian classic Bodza Sokk (Elderflower Shock), and who could forget the Japanese FuruFuru Shaker, which required shaking before consumption.
Fanta is also quite famous for the ad campaign it ran with the lovely Fantanas, who sang the catchy jingle: “Don’t cha wanna wanna Fanta?” They represent the popular Orange, Grape, Strawberry and Pineapple versions of the beverage.
As if you needed any more indication that the world is nearing its end (we’ve done all the things, every frontier has been reached), I implore you to have a look at the Fanta Wikipedia page that someone, somewhere has taken the time to painstakingly research and compile. This exhaustive list of Fanta flavor distributions by country, including discontinued flavors, is like the 8th Wonder of the (Arbitrary, Utterly Useless Information) World. Some poor intern must have spent an entire summer putting this masterpiece together.*
Usually in the Face Off! verdict we make some platitudes about how it was a close battle, but who are we kidding. Clearly FAYGO is going to be today’s winner.
The Mighty F blog is proud to support this all-American brand, and proud to make FAYGO the official beverage of the F community.
So let’s hear it for FAYGO, 3-liters, Detroit, and for AMERICA!
*Can you imagine how furious that guy gets whenever some idiot edits the page to say something is “doo-doo flavored” etc.