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Issue Date: Vol. 53, No. 6, June 2013, Posted On: 5/15/2013

Man Claims To Have Secret Coke Formula, Puts On eBay For $5M

Emily Jed
TAGS: Coca-Cola formula, Coke, Cliff Kluge, secret formula,, Coke ingredients, This American Life, Coca-Cola recipe

RINGGOLD, GA -- A man here says an old recipe in a box of papers that he and his wife purchased at a local estate sale could be the original Coca-Cola formula. Cliff Kluge, an antiques dealer, claims that he and his wife, Arlene, discovered the 1943 recipe in a box of personal papers they purchased at the estate auction of a famous Georgia chemist.

Kluge is auctioning off the typewritten, one-page document on eBay, where the starting bid is $5 million. He told several news sources that he doesn't expect the document will sell for the asking price, but he does think it is worth at least a few hundred thousand dollars.

The soft drink giant dismissed Kluge's claim, saying the single copy of the original recipe, which has been a tightly kept secret since the 19th century, is locked away. "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," Coke officials said in a statement.

In 2011, NPR's "This American Life" radio program published a formula that it claimed was the original Coca-Cola recipe. The primary flavors were: vanilla, lime juice, and oils from lemons, oranges, cinnamon and nutmeg. The beverage giant denied its authenticity.

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