Is Coke’s Formulation Still a Trade Secret?

This post was first published on February 16, 2011.
Coca Cola’s secret formulation is the most cited example to elucidate the business value of trade secrets. Coca Cola has been taking stringent measures to protect the secrecy of its formulation and it is believed that the formulation makes it the most popular soft drink in the world. Recent news reports seem to suggest that Coke’s formulation is not a trade secret any more.
Alleged claims of a weekly public radio show broadcasting organization, the “” of finding the top secret recipe of making Coca Cola has created quite a stir. The guarded recipe of Coca Cola, which has made the drink so popular, in the safe vault of Atlanta is said to be known by only 2 people in the Coca Cola Company at a given point of time. This guarded recipe is now said to have been discovered by the “” in a 1979 newspaper article. The said article has supposedly given out the secret ingredients and exact quantities to make the drink which was founded by John Pemberton, a medicinal pharmacist in 1886. The photographs and radio reporting of the list of ingredients and procedure followed by the “” to find if the recipe published in the said newspaper article is original has been displayed by “” on their website and may be viewed by clicking here and heard on its radio archives by clicking here.
  The recipe as reported by the “” contains the exact measures of all the different oils needed for Coca Cola’s secret ingredient, Merchandise 7X. Despite making up only one per cent of the drink’s total formula, Merchandise 7X is said to give the popular soft drink its unique taste.
So far, there has not been any counter claim or clarification from the side of Coca Cola Company and it would be of great interest to see whether the claims made by “” hold substance or would be held baseless by the giant drink makers.
“I want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony
I want to give the world a coke and keep it company “
Authored by Vintee Mishra

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