TEXT OF STORY
MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Have you heard about the “cola caper”? Three people have been arrested and charged with stealing Coca-Cola’s “secret” formula and then trying to sell it. Stacey Vanek-Smith spills the beans.
STACEY VANEK-SMITH: An employee at Coke is accused of stealing information about drink recipes and, with a couple friends, trying to sell it to Pepsi for $10,000.
So, how much is Coke’s legendary formula really worth?
Industry consultant, Tom Pirko:
TOM PIRKO: The idea that the crown jewels are being misappropriated is a vast overstatement.
After all, says Pirko, soft drink recipes aren’t a tough code to crack: just sugar, water and a little flavoring. So why all the fuss over the formula?
PIRKO: These companies are based upon mythology. They live upon their trademark images.
One of Coke’s trademarks? It’s secret formula. Pirko says news of a theft could compromise one of the images Coke counts on to market its brand of flavored sugar water.
I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.
As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.
Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.
Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.