Georgia Man's Coke Formula Claim Threatens Brand's Big Secret

Kim LaCapria

Ruh roh! A Coke formula claim involving a Georgia man, an estate sale, and one of the world's most closely guarded secrets threatens to demystify America's arguably favored cola for good.

The Georgia man's Coke formula claim stems from a recent purchase he made during a "treasure hunt" at an estate sale and a possible inadvertent Coke intel leak.

Cliff Kluge of Ringgold, Georgia is making the Coke formula claim, and the estate sale crawler reckons he happened upon a real, actual recipe for the ubiquitous cola.

In a box of letters and other paper ephemera, Kluge found a 1943 recipe he swears is the real deal -- the actual secret combo of ingredients that make a Coke a Coke.

The Coke formula claim made by Kluge seems to match up to one put forward by broadcaster NPR a few years back -- and Gawkernotes that their site crashed beneath the traffic of curious soda drinkers seeking the key to the mystery of Coca-Cola.

Of his Coke formula claim, Kluge is excited at the possibility of the big find and explains:

"You don't stumble on things like this very often ... It's a letter, and a formula, and the processes to make it. I think it's a little deeper than having fun; I think it's the recipe for Coca-Cola."

But the Coke formula claim has, of course, been adamantly refuted by the soda giant, and, in response, they say that the only real formula for Coke remains heavily guarded in Atlanta in a big safe -- probably with laser beams and totally like the diamond heist scene in the Muppet movie with the diamond:

"Through the years, many have tried to crack the secret formula, but no one has been able to reproduce the 'real thing.' The real formula is safely tucked away in a vault at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta."

Kluge has upped his price for the document from $5 million to $15 million, but he says it's not a money thing -- he is just thrilled to have found what he believes is a piece of history:

"It's just excitement ... It's an Easter egg hunt, looking for eggs out there. And when you come up with something like this, it's Christmas."

Does the Coke formula claim seem legit to you, or do you think there's really only one copy?