A product’s secret ingredient is often kept hidden from the public eye to gain a competitive edge. Sometimes the ingredient makes a perceptible difference in how a product performs, looks, or tastes. Did you know that coke has a sacred ingredient that has never been revealed to the public?
Coca-Cola has a secret ingredient called “Merchandise 7X,” which has remained a secret since John Pemberton invented it in 1886. The ingredient’s description is maintained in a vault at the Trust Co. Bank in Atlanta.
How Did Coca-Cola Start?
Before John Pemberton’s death in 1888, the Coca-Cola inventor was said to have shared his unique formula with at least four individuals.
Asa Candler bought the recipe from Pemberton’s estate in 1891, launched The Coca-Cola Company, and established the secrecy surrounding the formula ever since. He also changed the ingredients list, which most people said improved the flavor and gave him the right to claim that anyone who had Pemberton’s original recipe no longer knew what the true formula was.
Candler and his family sold the company to Ernest Woodruff and a group of investors in 1919. As collateral for the acquisition loan, Woodruff put the only written copy of the formula in a vault at the lending bank, Guaranty Bank in New York.
In 1925, Woodruff moved the written formula to the Trust Company Bank which is now known as Truist Financial in Atlanta when the debt was paid off on December 8, 2011. Today, the formula is kept in a vault on the grounds of the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, where it’s on public display.
According to the business, only two personnel have access to the entire recipe at any given time, and they are not allowed to travel together. When one dies, the other must appoint a successor within the company and reveal the secret to them. The identities of the two employees in possession of the secret are kept under wraps. (Source: The Coca-Cola Company)
The Current Ingredients of Coca Cola
Coca-Cola keeps its syrup recipe secret by shipping materials to its manufacturers in the form of anonymous merchandise numbered 1 through 9.
The proportional amounts of each numbered product and the mixing technique are given to factory managers, but not the constituents in the merchandise, some of which are themselves a mix of more fundamental substances.
In high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose, Sugar is Merchandise No. 1; caramel coloring is Merchandise No. 2, caffeine is Merchandise No. 3, and phosphoric acid is Merchandise No. 4. The identities of merchandise 5 through 9 are up for controversy, especially Merchandise 7X, which is considered to include a blend of essential oils. (Source: The Coca-Cola Company)
Did You Know that There are Coca-cola Formula Variations in the United States?
During the 1980s, the majority of U.S. Coca-Cola bottlers shifted from cane sugar to high-fructose corn syrup because it was less expensive. The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Cleveland, which serves northern Ohio and a portion of Pennsylvania, was the sole U.S. bottler still utilizing sucrose year-round in 2009. (Source: The Coca-Cola Company)