Can you imagine how some of the great companies in the world can go far just to keep there trade secrets? Here is an article about how Coke have kept there trade secrets for many generation since the 1800s. This is also a lesson how far can we go to keep our trade secrets in business.
It’s no surprise that one of most profitable companies ever would want to keep their formula a secret.
Even with hundreds of imitators, Coke still dominates world-wide sales of caramel colored drinks. But doesn’t that stuff only have, like, four ingredients?
Fizzy water, high fructose corn syrup, caffeine and Brown Dye #4? There isn’t exactly a vibrant symphony of flavors in each can.
Yet, the formula is so fiercely protected that the company even pulled out of India in the 1970s because they would have been legally required to divulge their ingredient list to their government.
It even managed to stall a divorce case. When one of the Coke heirs ended his marriage to his wife, she demanded some of his great-grandfather’s (the founder of Coca-Cola) original notes as part of her settlement. The company had to get involved and put a stop to it out of fear the notes could contain information on the formula.
The original copy of the formula is kept in an undisclosed SunTrust Bank in Atlanta. To keep SunTrust on their side, Coke gave them some 48.3 million shares of stock as well as having executives from each company sit on the other’s board of directors.
The company has policies surrounding the secret that range from the paranoid (the two executives who knew the formula could not fly on the same plane) to the bizarre (no one could view the formula without God, Jesus and Elvis present or something to that extent).
Photo by Coca-Cola.