US soft drinks giant Coca-Cola is for the first time putting the secret formula for its signature beverage on display — but visitors to an Atlanta museum will only see the metal box it is kept in.
The box, which had not left a vault in an Atlanta bank since 1925, has been transferred to a new exhibit at the World of Coca-Cola museum in the southern US city, home to the company’s headquarters.
“This is a special day in Coca-Cola history, and the perfect culmination to our 125th anniversary celebrations this year,” chief executive Muhtar Kent said in a statement on Thursday.
Coca-Cola “has always gone to great lengths to protect it and now by safeguarding it at the World of Coca-Cola, we can share its legendary legacy with people around the world,” archives director Phil Mooney said.
After the invention of Coca-Cola in 1886 by Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton, the formula was a closely guarded secret, only known by a few people and never written down.
However, in 1919, in order to secure a bank loan, then-owner Ernest Woodruff provided the written formula as collateral. It was placed in a New York bank vault until the loan was paid off in 1925.
Woodruff then reclaimed the written formula and secured it at the Trust Company Bank, now SunTrust. It had remained there until the recent move to the World of Coca-Cola museum.
Coca-Cola bottles and distributes a wide range of non-alcoholic drinks, including sports and energy drinks, juices, soft drinks including Fanta and Sprite, bottled water, and bottled and canned coffee and tea.
Consumers in more than 200 countries drink 1.7 billion servings of Coca-Cola products a day, according to the company, which employs more than 700,000 people.