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KFC, Trade Secrets, and Conspiracy

Trade secrets play an important and growing role in American business. Legends about Coca-Cola’s secret formula and the protection of it include the claim that only two people know half of it at one time which Snopes says is false. Instead the two people know the entire formula. As Snopes notes the confusion may be with KFC which does separate knowledge and keeps the names of the people with access secret. KFC is moving the formula, and the details are just too much fun.

According to AP the recipe is locked away in KC’s main office. The locking system (file cabinet with two combination locks) can only be reached by gong through a vault and three more doors. Which reminds me of:

To move the recipe, the company used the old put the document in a locked case and handcuff it to someone’s arm trick. That one appears in many spy films but reminds me more of Trading Places and Clarence Beeks, the security guy the Dukes use to get access to the secret crop report.

Now in all seriousness when a secret like this one is possibly stolen a fair amount is at stake. The Coke and Pepsi incident a few years ago was a nice moment. Some people contacted Pepsi saying they had access to a new Coke drink and would sell it. Pepsi turned them in.

I am a huge fan of Coca-Cola, the drink. I don’t drink it as often as I used to, but listen to me pop a cold can and drink it, and as my brother said “Dude, you need help.” KFC’s recipe may be even more powerful: