Cliff Kluge from Georgia claims he has found the original top-secret recipe for Coca-Cola in an old box of papers he purchased from an estate.
Cliff Kluge is now trying to sell the formula on eBay for $15 million.
The Coca-Cola Company, which has turned the secrecy surrounding its 19th-century cola recipe into the stuff of legends, says the formula might come close to Coca-Cola, but it’s still not the real thing.
Cliff Kluge, an antiques dealer from Ringgold in northern Georgia, told WXIA-TV that he found the 1943 recipe in a box of personal papers and letters he purchased at an estate auction for a famous Georgia chemist.
He speculated that Coca-Cola might have sent the ingredient list to him because the company was having trouble obtaining all of the ingredients necessary during the war.
“You don’t stumble on things like this very often. It’s a letter, and a formula, and the processes to make it,” Cliff Kluge said.
“I think it’s a little deeper than having fun; I think it’s the recipe for Coca-Cola.”
The original 1886 Coca-Cola formula, devised by Dr. John S Pemberton, has long been the source of speculation. The Coca-Cola Company says it keeps the recipe a close-guarded secret. The original is locked away in a vault at the World of Coca-Cola Museum at its headquarters in Atlanta.
“What I can discern about the formula is that it’s a formula for a cola-type drink. I don’t think it’s coca-cola. It can’t be coca-cola,” Ted Ryan, the Coca-Cola Company’s archivist and historian, told WXIA.
“This particular formula is one of dozens that have popped up over the years trying to emulate the flavor of Coca-Cola.”
Indeed, in 2011, NPR’s This American Life radio program published a formula that it reported was the original recipe.
The primary flavors were: vanilla, lime juice, lemon oil, orange oil, cinnamon oil and nutmeg oil.
Cliff Kluge has declined to reveal the formula in his Coca-Cola recipe.
The Georgia man also said he doubts that he will get millions for the formula – however he believes it is worth a few hundred thousand dollars.