Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

Coke Recipe Found? This Week’s Argument for Document Shredding

A Georgia man claims he found the secret formula to Coca-Cola in a box of items he bought at an estate sale. He’s now hoping to sell it. Asking price? $15 million. Let’s call it this week’s locktight argument in favor of document shredding.

Cliff Kluge, who is claiming the find, told the recipe closely matches the formula that was published online a couple of years ago by NPR.

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The folks at Coca-Cola say the formula found in Georgia is not “the real thing.” (See what they did there?)

“You don’t stumble on things like this very often,” Kluge said. “It’s a letter, and a formula, and the processes to make it. I think it’s a little deeper than having fun; I think it’s the recipe for Coca-Cola.”

Let’s humor Mr. Kluge and say that this is indeed the original formula for Coke. And let’s say that he’s got leverage and can actually sell this thing to a Coke competitor. Why does this recipe still exist? And why was it in somebody’s shoebox of junk in Georgia?

Whoever had that document in his or her possession at one time had to have been affiliated with Coca-Cola, meaning that person should have shredded it long ago. I mean, we know it’s not the original. (Well, unless the producers of Coke have been guessing all these years.)

This is why document shredding is such an important part of any business, whether it’s a doctor’s office, a restaurant or Coca-freaking-Cola. Important or sensitive documents getting into the wrong hands is not a new phenomenon.

And a document shredding program should also include a proper disposal policy as well. You may remember back in November at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when some of the confetti raining down on the crowd consisted of poorly shredded official law enforcement documents, some of which contained people’s social security numbers. Yikes.

Does your company have a document shredding policy? If you don’t, you should. You can find out more about document shredding here.

Anyway, the marketing nerds over at Coke responded to Mr. Kluge’s claim with this corporate statement: “Through the years, many have tried to crack the secret formula, but no one has been able to reproduce the ‘real thing.’ The real formula is safely tucked away in a vault at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.”

And one day, they may want to consider shredding that too. Just in case.


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