Coke's secret formula on display in vault

Dec. 8, 2011 at 6:00 PM

ATLANTA, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Coca-Cola's 125-year-old secret formula went on public display Thursday in Atlanta -- or at least a locked vault holding the recipe is visible.

The company is celebrating its 125th anniversary by moving the formula to the World of Coca-Cola exhibit in downtown Atlanta, ABC News reported. Jacquie Wansley, the company's marketing manager, said the formula was moved from a SunTrust Bank vault that has been its home since 1925 on Sunday.

Wansley said only a handful of people have seen the formula. Even the characteristics of what is in the vault are unclear with only the chosen few knowing if it is a piece of paper or a notebook.

Coca-Cola was invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Pemberton, originally as a non-alcoholic version of a coca wine he had been selling for several years. The drink was marketed as a patent medicine for dyspepsia and impotence but Asa Griggs Candler, who became Pemberton's partner, built it into the world's best-known soft drink.

Wansley says the formula has remained unchanged since 1886 except for the company's short-lived New Coke variation in 1985. But the drink's Wikipedia entry says Pemberton's original formula included coca leaves, which are also the source of cocaine.

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