A Coke formula claim by a man in Georgia has led to a $15 million Ebay listing. Cliff Kluge claims to have purchased a box from an estate sale which contained the original recipe for Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola’s recipe can not be patented, and, therefore, it has become one of the best kept secrets in the beverage industry. Coke uses different facilities to create parts of its syrup, thus ensuring the secret is kept.
Kluge, realizing he could be looking at a goldmine, has asked for the huge payday via the Ebay “buy it now” option. In his Ebay listing, Kluge says the document dates back to January 15, 1943. In his posting, he writes:
“Fast forward 100+ years later to the 21st Century – we were at an estate sale of a deceased, renown Chattanooga chemist, who at one time worked at one of the more prominent chemical companies in the area. There were masses upon masses of personal paperwork at the sale. Curious, we bought several boxes of this paperwork, which yielded some interesting finds. Among those finds is what is offered for sale here – what we believe to be the formula for Coca Cola.”
While Kluge doesn’t reveal the formula in full, for obvious reasons, he does offer a redacted copy of the document which calls for a yield of 16 gallons.
Even executives at Coca-Cola do not have access to the original recipe. Dr. John S. Pemberton created Coca-Cola in 1886, and the recipe is now locked deep inside the company’s Atlanta, Georgia headquarters.
Kluge admits that he can not verify the document. In his posting, Kluge writes:
“What I can guarantee is that offered for sale is a single page, hand typed and written, 70+ year old recipe on yellowed paper that was purchased out of an estate of a local chemist in a city that claims the right of being where Coca Cola Bottling originated. Whoever typed this letter back in 1943, had access to the original recipe, and references that fact on the second page – ‘On page 83 of the Extractor is the original Coca Cola formula(e) which might serve as a source of preparation information.'”
The Ebay action ends on May 14.
While the recipe may not be for Coca-Cola, a smart marketing agency could make a killing off the “Coke Recipe” product if it actually tastes good.