The latest episode of This American Life claims they have found the original recipe for Coca-Cola, or a newer adaptation of the original recipe. Historian Mark Pengergrast, who has done extensive research on Coca-Cola, verified that the recipe found was identical to the original formula. The only way to check if it was the real thing was to make a batch of the drink. Jones Soda happily agreed to follow through and created a soda that fooled an expert and was actually preferred by those who participated in a taste test.
Coca-Cola the company has denied the recipes authenticity but has not actually checked the company copy of the formula. Overall, Coca-Cola said that the formula could be cracked by anyone who really wants to but they refuse to verify authenticity. The original recipe to Coca-Cola’s secret flavoring hasn’t been used since 1903 and has not been changed since the great “New Coke” scandal of 1985. Changes from the pre-1903 formula include the substitutions decocainized coca extract, phosphoric acid and lime oil. The copy of the recipe recently found included that Coca-Cola includes anywhere between 8 ounces and 1 quart of alcohol.
In Israel, a Muslim man is suing the Central Bottling Company Group Ltd., the Israel franchisee for Coca-Cola, for the inclusion of alcohol in the product. Islam forbids alcohol and the man suing is claiming that by drinking Coke he is unwillingly breaking this religious law. This class action lawsuit includes $275 compensation for every Muslim living in Israel.
The suit said, “This is one of the greatest deceptions in the history of consumer affairs, when a company ignores the existence of alcohol as an ingredient despite being aware that the Muslim world abstains from products like these. This is a very serious matter and it certainly won’t be the last in the world in light of the fraud.”
How can Coke come back from this crazy situation? Will they have to eventually publish their secret formula for their product? It seems to be the only way they can ever save face in light of this new lawsuit. Even if they choose to not reveal the entire formula they will eventually have to come forward and verify the found recipe, whether they like it or not.