The Coca-Cola Secret

The content below is from Episode 99 of the Who’d a Thunk It? Podcast


How to play Street Fighter: a fighting game primer for everyone - Polygon
  • Fighting Games
  • Last week’s episode was about Capoeira, a unique martial art that came from African slave communities that formed in Brazil.
    • The only reason I knew that this form of martial art existed was because of a video game franchise called Tekken that I had played when I was a just a boy.
      • There is a character in that franchise named Eddy Gordo who is a capoeira master and that is how his character fights in the game.
    • Well, a few days after publishing that episode I was cruising through the PlayStation store on my PS4 and saw that Tekken 7 was on there. It wasn’t on sale or anything and so it was listed for like $50 even though the game is like 5 years old.
      • I almost didn’t buy it, but my lovely fiancee Shannon pointed out that it costs about $50 to get her nails done and that I should get it if I really wanted it.
    • I bought Tekken 7 and have been having a ball reliving the fighting game mechanics I loved so much as a kid.
  • So my recommendation to you dear Who’d a Thunker is to get a fighting game of your choice, whichever holds the most nostalgia, and play for an hour or so.
    • Whether you prefer Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Street Fighter, or any other fighting game, I promise it will be fun. Try to convince your significant other or friend to play with you on a split screen match.
    • One of the best parts about a fighting game is that you can no idea how to play a video game and still have fun. It is called button mashing and as long as you just randomly press the punch and kick button, you still have a chance to kick some virtual ass!


  • Coca-Cola never patented their secret formula because otherwise they would be required to disclose it to the public.
    • And because of that they have gone through quite a lot of trouble to keep it a secret.
  • In 1886 a Confederate Colonel in the American Civil War by the name John Pemberton was wounded in battle and subsequently became addicted to morphine. Which isn’t surprising as morphine is an opioid and they gave it out like candy in those days.
    • To battle his addiction he came up with a drink that would help him fight the cravings for morphine. That drink was Coca-Cola. He then tried to sell his invented drink at market with moderate success. The secret recipe was passed by word of mouth for decades, never being written down for fear of someone stealing it.
    • It wasn’t until 1919 that the Coca-Cola recipe was written down.
  • A man named Ernest Woodruff was the head of a group of investors who wanted to springboard Coca-Cola’s success.
    • The investors took out a loan to buy the Coca-Cola company in 1919 and used the first known written record of the Coca-cola secret formula as collateral.
  • With the written copy of the recipe (or formula) as collateral, the deal went through. The investing group bought Coca-Cola for $25 million.
    • They offered half a million shares to the public at $40 a share.
  • The Trust Company was the underwriter for the 1919 acquisition and public offering deal.
    • Then the Trust company merged with another financial entity and became the SunTrust Bank.
      • Vocab word I looked up: Underwriting services are provided by some large financial institutions, such as banks, insurance companies and investment houses, whereby they guarantee payment in case of damage or financial loss and accept the financial risk for liability arising from such guarantee.
        • On the lower end of the salary range, people can make around $46,000, usually those in entry-level positions.
    • For 86 long years the formula was held in the main vault at Atlanta Georgia’s SunTrust Bank.
    • Then in 2011 the original secret formula was transported from the SunTrust vault to a new vault that Coca-Cola uses as an attraction for their World of Coca-Cola museum… yes that is a real thing.
      • My tin hat side says that the vault they keep on display doesn’t actually hold the secret formula, but that is just a sneaking suspicion of mine.
World of Coca-Cola
  • Now here is where we get into some weird secret agent type stuff.
    • The Coca-Cola company says they have 2 higher up senior exec types that know the secret formula at any given time.
    • However, they never have given names or official positions for those 2 execs. We do know that all senior executives cannot travel on the same plane.
    • And although I couldn’t find anything to back this up, I’m certain I once watched a video describing how even these two men don’t know the entire recipe as individuals. Each of them have half the recipe, but not the whole recipe.
  • The vault, like one straight from a film, has a palm scanner, a numerical code pad and massive steel door.
    • Inside its walls, there’s another safe box with more security features. And inside that, a metal case containing what its owners call “the most guarded trade secret in the world.” A piece of paper with, according to Coca-Cola, a recipe inside.
  • Facts about Coca-Cola
    • In 2011, This American Life published what it believed to be the recipe, found in a 130-year-old notebook belonging to the inventor’s best friend. The drink’s 15 ingredients include cinnamon, neroli, coriander and nutmeg oil. Coca-Cola insisted, if anything, this was an old recipe.
    • Despite being invented by John Pemberton, it was actually a businessman called Asa Griggs Candler who brought Coca-Cola to the masses. Having bought Coca-Cola from Pemberton in 1888 for $550 (£421), he marketed it aggressively, making millions in return.
    • During World War II, one of the Coca-Cola leaders Robert Woodruff declared servicemen and women should be able to get a bottle of Coca-Cola for 5 cents wherever they were in the world, no matter what it cost the company. More than 5 billion bottles of Coke were distributed to US troops. Portable soda fountains were even flown into remote areas in the South Pacific.
This was made in 1931 by artist Haddon Sundblom
  • Facts about coco-cola continued:
    • It’s a common myth Coca-Cola invented the image of Santa Claus as we know it today. Santa had been portrayed as a man dressed in red as early as 1870. However, there were some ads that boosted the red suit image.
    • Invented by pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886, Coca-Cola was originally advertised as a brain tonic to relieve headaches and exhaustion. It contained ingredients from the kola nut, including caffeine, and also cocaine – but not as much as people think. There was only 9 milligrams per glass and it was removed in 1903.
    • Pemberton’s inspiration for the drink was a popular concoction called Vin Mariani, invented in France. It was a mixture of Bordeaux red wine and cocaine. However, the US, especially the Deep South, was in the midst of an anti-alcohol movement. This gave Pemberton the idea of creating a drink for those who were abstinent.
  • I think the Coca-Cola company is a great representation of America.
    • It was born out of an opioid addiction from the Civil War.
    • It was passed down from generation to generation until business men were able to integrate it into the American economy.
    • Coca-Cola has had one of the most successful advertising runs of all time and is one of the most recognizable names around the globe.
    • And now they use secrecy to keep their success.