Coca-Cola Moves Secret Formula

The Coca-Cola Company

Coca-Cola has moved its secret formula to an exhibit where the public can see it-or at least see a vault containing the 125-year-old closely guarded recipe.

The formula,  housed in a vault in the SunTrust Bank in Atlanta since 1925,  was transferred in a stealth move last Sunday under heavy security, according to Coca-Cola marketing manager Jacquie Wansley.

It's now inside a 10-foot-tall vault at the World of Coca-Cola, the company's attraction in downtown Atlanta, where the new exhibit was opened Thursday.

"This was really a great way to put a capstone on our 125th anniversary year by bringing our secret formula to the World of Coca-Cola," said Wansley. The formula will remain permanently at its new home, she said.

So what exactly is inside the vault-a piece of paper, a notebook dating from 1886 when Dr. John S. Pemberton invented the soft drink?

"Not a lot of people know," said Wansley, who doesn't know herself. "We don't know how many people know."

What people at the company do know is that the formula has remained the same since the beginning, notwithstanding persistent rumors that it originally contained cocaine and the ingredient was later dropped.

"The formula for Coca-Cola has remained the same for 125 years, except for New Coke," which lasted for 79 days in 1985 when it was introduced and met with widespread public disapproval, Wansley said.