Professor of Marketing Doug Bowman said the alleged uncovering of Coca-Cola's secret recipe won't sink the company's brand... It's all about the experience.

News hit Tuesday that Coca-Cola’s recipe — a secret guarded with the ferocity of key government documents — may have been revealed in a 1979 edition of the Atlanta Journal. The alleged, hand-written recipe can be seen in a photo which resurfaced this week thanks to producers at the Chicago radio show This American Life.

Not surprisingly, social and traditional media sprung to life and debate raged on if the formula was not only the real thing but if the iconic Atlanta — and American — company needed to worry.

Goizueta Professor of Marketing Doug Bowman told CNN’s Martin Savidge the public may never know if, indeed, the recipe was revealed.  “… and I don’t think Coke really cares,” he said. “Coke is selling a lifestyle brand; they’re selling refreshment. They’re selling happiness.”


Coca-Cola, a Fortune 100 company, has long associated itself with Americana from its commercials to its role in sponsoring sports teams and leagues. The corporation’s late President and CEO, Roberto Goizueta, is also the benefactor of Emory’s business school.

Phil Mooney, an archivist at Coca-Cola quoted by CNN, say the formula in question is likely a cola recipe, but not the one everyone wants it to be. The real recipe, according to Mooney, is locked up in the SunTrust building in downtown Atlanta.