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Georgia man selling alleged Coke recipe for millions

Courtesy of EBay

Courtesy of EBay

Growing up as the son of a Coca-Cola employee in Atlanta, I’ve heard the lore of the super-secret formula for Coke far more than most. The story of the original recipe for Coke was shrouded in mystery, and took on many forms; my favorite being that the only two living executives who know the formula are not allowed to fly on the same plane together, lest a crash result in the loss of everyone’s favorite soft drink forever.

Of course, there is an overwhelming amount of calculated marketing that has gone into those stories, and I’m sure the reality is much more mundane. But that has not stopped scores of opportunists from trying to expose the secret formula, including the ominous “7X” flavoring. The most recent and notable of these was just 2 years ago, when NPR’s This American Life dug up what they believed to be the recipe and posted it online, crashing their website with the influx of views. NPR’s source? A 1979 article from The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Well, it seems the formula has reared its head again, and this time it will only cost you $15 million to own a copy.

Cliff Kluge of Ringgold, GA., was at an estate sale in Chattanooga – the home of the first Coca Cola Bottling Company – and purchased the belongings of a deceased chemist. Among the belongings, Kluge found what he believes to be a copy of the recipe typed up on January 15th, 1943. Currently, the only official copy of the recipe resides in a special vault here in Atlanta at the Coca-Cola Museum.

So what would you do if you found such a rare piece of US history? Put that thing on EBay, of course!

My favorite part is near the end where Kluge feels the need to really sell the recipe, not as a collector’s item (which, assuming it is authentic could easily be worth millions to the right collector) but instead as an opportunity to manufacture your own Coca-Cola:

You may find the “Buy It Now” price exceptionally steep, but it will be a drop in the bucket if this formula rises to the occasion and yields an accurate formula for Coca-Cola – the most popular drink in the world, with over a billion served daily. A billion plus per day – my goodness.

You can see the entire EBay listing here.

- By Jon Watson, Food & More blog

16 comments Add your comment

Anton Chigurh

May 14th, 2013
2:20 pm

It will be brought here and placed at my feet.

Noah Little

May 14th, 2013
2:35 pm

The real secret to Coke is not the formula, but the heritage and the marketing.

K

May 14th, 2013
3:10 pm

The only secret you need to know is that it’s bad for you.

Ned Ludd

May 14th, 2013
3:16 pm

And I suppose there is an address included where I may purchase the Coca required?

Kat

May 14th, 2013
3:27 pm

But shipping is free!

K

May 14th, 2013
3:38 pm

At that price it probably comes with all the coca you’ll ever need.

Pete

May 14th, 2013
4:10 pm

Well played, Anton

um

May 14th, 2013
4:38 pm

From what I’ve read, the recipe is actually in a Suntrust Vault not “at the museum”. He should have brought a copy of it to Coke and if indeed its correct let them make an offer, I’m sure it would be more than 15 mm.

Bhorsoft

May 14th, 2013
4:43 pm

It looks like the original recipe for New Coke, if you ask me. And that ain’t worth squat.

JAWJA

May 14th, 2013
4:49 pm

Read the recipe; looked like too much work involved to make.

jarvis

May 14th, 2013
5:12 pm

@um, the recipe was moved from SunTrust Tower to the Coke Museum a year or so ago.

Joe

May 14th, 2013
5:50 pm

Drink Pepsi.

gabugman

May 14th, 2013
6:20 pm

Looks fake to me, check out the capital letters and how they are shifted – the “J” in jan is shifted at the top of the paper but later in the body it’s not. same with the “W”s, some shift, some don’t.

Fred ™

May 14th, 2013
6:22 pm

Coke has changed it’s recip[e a hundred times over the years. They change it seasonally.

MUSTANG100

May 14th, 2013
6:30 pm

And I suppose Coke Inc. will just forget about that little formula patent?

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