Coke Secret Formula Uncovered? Georgia Man Claims To Have Found Coca-Cola’s Secret Recipe

Coke's Secret Formula
A spoonful of sugar: For the secret Coke recipe Cliff Kluge found at an estate sale, check out his pictures on eBay. eBay/Cliff Kluge

A Georgia man says he found Coke’s secret formula in a box at an estate sale, and he's put it up for sale on eBay. Starting bid: $5 million.

Cliff Kluge says he found the coveted recipe tucked away in a box he purchased at the estate sale of a renowned Chattanooga chemist. And he's so sure it's "the real thing" that he thinks it's worth $15 million, the "Buy It Now" price he's listed on his eBay auction for the prime find, reports Daily Mail.

So far, no one has jumped into the auction, given the starting bid of $5 million. Kluge states the document dates back to Jan. 15, 1943, and describes how he came to find Coke’s secret formula: “Fast forward 100+ years later to the 21st century -- we were at an estate sale of a deceased, renowned 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.”

Kluge includes two photos of the Coca-Cola recipe, with the ingredients blocked from view, and the process creates a gall of the concentrated syrup which can yield 16 gallons when processed. Naturally there is plenty of skepticism about the supposed Coke secret formula as there would be no way for executives from Coca-Cola to verify the authenticity of the recipe, notes Kluge. The original recipe for Coca-Cola, from Dr. John S. Pemberton in 1886, is safely locked away in Coca-Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta, notes Daily Mail.

But Kluge says he can guarantee what he's offering for sale as "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.’”

Kluge’s claims have earned him national attention, including an appearance on “Good Morning America,” and it shows the power of secrecy. Like Kentucky Fried Chicken’s secret recipe, Coke’s secret formula will always be speculated upon. Kluge believes there could be a huge profit for someone creating batches of the product using this recipe.

The bidding for Kluge’s secret formula is scheduled to end on May 14.

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