The formula for Coca-Cola is one of the go-to examples of a trade secret. According to a company representative, the original formula is written on a piece of paper stored in a bank vault. Only “a small handful” of people know the formula at any time.
In 2011, the radio program “This American Life” devoted an episode to unraveling the secret, focusing on (among other leads) a pharmacist’s formula for a cola beverage, although Coca-Cola denied that the secret was revealed.
The original formula isn’t the only secret that may be of value on the black beverage market. In 2007, employees were caught trying to sell samples of a new Coca-Cola beverage to its biggest competitor, Pepsi.