We will never be Royal – Why is there no Fanta in the Philippines?

Fanta vs Royal

Why is there no Fanta in the Philippines? When you travel to the Philippines you might notice that there is Coke, Sprite and an orange soda in a bottle that is distinctly like Fanta. It is though called Royal.

What though is Royal? Initially I thought that it had been simply renamed because perhaps Fanta meant something funny in the Philippines. This has actually happened in other countries with Fanta also having a different name in Sri Lanka. In case you are wondering Fanta is called Portello, but that is a different story for a different time.

You can read about taking the train in Sri Lanka here.

What is Royal?

Much like Jolibee occurring in the Philippines before McDonalds, or KFC, Royal predates Fanta, at least within the Philippines. So, what is the Royal Orange Soda story?

Initially invented in 1922 as the Royal Tru brand, it was the first non-alcoholic drink made by the San Miguel Brewery. This drink was known as Royal Tru-Orange and thus massively predates the Nazi invented drink that is Fanta.

In 1927 San Miguel became the Philippine bottlers for Coca-Cola and thus from the get go the drink has been associated with Coke. In 1981 San Miguel span off its soft drink business in company that was jointly owned by Coca-Cola known as the Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI). This unified Royal into the Core family, thus creating the question of the day Royal vs Fanta, or Fanta vs Royal.

Royal vs Fanta

So, Royal vs Fanta, Fanta vs Royal, are the same, are they different and which one is better? The sad reality now and probably at least since 1981 is that the drinks are one and the same. Royal is for all intents Fanta and taste wise seems to be using the same formula.

This was not always the case though with those in the know saying it was more fruity and sweet than its Fanta cousin. Interestingly though and almost my final point on the Royal vs Fanta question is that Filipinos generally have not even heard of Fanta, which can be quite surreal.

Can you get Fanta in the Philippines?

You most certainly can, but rarely and generally from stores that specialize in foreign goods! Other than that there is no Fanta in the Philippines, except Royal, which is Fanta.

You can read about YPT’s Philippines Tours here.