Coca Cola's secret formula is now hidden . . . in open view. In an unprecedented move, the Atlanta soft drink producer has moved its secret formula from its under-lock-and-key location to a vault placed at the entrance to the World of Coca-Cola.
For years many have pondered the ingredients of the closely-held secret Coca-Cola formula.
Coke Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent said on Thursday, "Today, we are going to unlock some of that magic. The time has come for the secret formula to come back home."
The vault will be housed at the entrance in a permanent exhibit called, "The Vault of the Secret Formula."
In a press release issued on the day of the ceremonial move, Coca-Cola outlined the plan, shared some history of the Coke legacy and explained how the formula came to be locked up in SunTrust Bank in downtown Atlanta, where it has been kept since 1925.
"This is a special day in Coca-Cola history, and the perfect culmination to our 125th anniversary celebrations this year," said Muhtar.
Muhtar said by "sharing this secret formula experience with our consumers, we celebrate the rich history of the brand's beginnings and the moments of refreshment and happiness to come for future generations," calling it a recognition and a thank you to those who have "made the Coca-Cola brand what it is today."
While the top-secret formula has "come home", the contents of the vault will remain hush-hush, same as they have since the beginning, just in public view. While invented in 1886, the formula was only written down in 1919 in order to use as collateral to secure a loan. When placed at the bank, it remained at the same location for the last 86 years.
Earlier this year, NPR program This American Life aired an episode on finding the Coca-Cola secret recipe, supposedly discovered in a newspaper column published in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution on February 18, 1979. Coca-Cola officials denied the accuracy of NPR's claim.
In what is being perceived by some experts as a solid marketing strategy, this move by Coca-Cola solidifies tradition by 'revealing' the secret.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Tim Mescon, an economist and president of Columbus State University, said chances are chemists nowadays can replicate the formula, and these "dramatics were perfect Coke theater."
"It is what this global empire has been built on," Mescon said. "It is basically part of the Coca-Cola tradition. The fact that we're talking about it shows how they can create a national buzz without spending advertising dollars."
By bringing on the fanfare, it creates public interest, and in this respect strengthens the brand through connecting with the audience, and ultimately, ongoing visibility through the exhibit.
Last month Digital Journal reported despite dismal economic forecasts, CEO Kent is optimistic about the future.