The vault (metal box that houses the recipe) that contains the Coca-Cola Company’s most valuable trade secret went on public display on December 8, for the first time in over a century.
As part of celebrations to mark the company’s 125th anniversary, Delta Beverages said the company is sharing “the rich history and timeless appeal of its secret formula” in a multi-media exhibition in Atlanta, United States.
The vault had not been moved in 86 years, but on December 8, the Coca-Cola Company moved the secret formula to a new home at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.
“As the capstone to the 125th anniversary year of Coca-Cola, the company is sharing in a brand-new exhibit where visitors can experience the world’s most recognised brand like never before,” Delta Beverages said in a statement.
The vault was visible to the public in a permanent exhibit titled “The Vault of the Secret Formula”, at the World of Coca-Cola.
“By sharing this secret formula experience with our consumers, we celebrate both the rich history of the brand’s beginnings and the moments of refreshment and happiness to come for future generations,” said Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola Company chairman and chief executive officer.
The company transferred the secret formula to the World of Coca-Cola from a vault at SunTrust Bank in Atlanta where it had been housed since 1925.
“The move of the Coca-Cola secret formula is a historic moment for the company,” said Phil Mooney, the company’s director of archives.
“The company has always gone to great lengths to protect it and now by safeguarding it at the World of Coca-Cola, we can share its legendary legacy with people around the world.”
Dr John S Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886 and the formula was kept a close secret, only shared with a small group and not written down.
In 1891, Asa Candler became the sole proprietor of Coca-Cola after purchasing rights to the business.
In 1919, Ernest Woodruff and a group of investors purchased the company from Candler and his family. To finance the purchase Woodruff arranged a loan and as collateral he provided documentation of the formula by asking Candler’s son to commit the formula to paper.
This was placed in a vault in the Guaranty Bank in New York until the loan was repaid in 1925. At that point, Woodruff reclaimed the secret formula and returned it to Atlanta and placed it in the Trust Company Bank, now SunTrust, where it remained until its recent move to the World of Coca-Cola.