Failing to patent a qualified secret, instead keeping it as a trade secret is a rare practice these days. However, in the world there have been many successful cases of applying this measure through having effective security mechanisms. With a tight and secure management system, a trade secret has the potential to provide owners with many benefits, even many times greater than a patent registration. In the following article, let’s take a look at some formulas that are protected as successful business secrets, thereby drawing lessons about the operating mechanism and potential to apply to your own business.
In the world today there are many recipes, making billions of dollars worth of special protection, completely not disclosed to the public. Big names in the food industry have taken steps to ensure that their multibillion-dollar secret recipes are safe and protected.
Many recipes are known to only one or two people worldwide, and others are so well hidden that foods are made in parts in different locations around the globe.
Here are the top most protected recipes in the world:
Heinz Tomato Ketchup is a brand of ketchup manufactured by the H. J. Heinz Company, a division of the Kraft Heinz Company. In addition to making regular ketchup, they also produce a variety of sauces made from sugar.
In 2000, they produced colored ketchup in a squeezable container, which was appreciated by young children. Tomato sauce comes in a variety of colors including red, green, purple, pink, orange, teal and blue. However, these were discontinued in 2006. In 2011 they started producing a variety of sauces based on balsamic vinegar. However, they discontinued production in 2018.
Heinz ketchup is packaged in glass and plastic bottles of various sizes. They introduced the first octagonal glass bottle in 1889 and it was patented in 1890. While other glass bottle designs have survived, the octagonal glass bottle is still in use and is considered an iconic example of Heinz’s packaging design.
To this day, Heinz continues to dominate the global ketchup condiment world. Henry J Heinz first created it in 1867 with just five ingredients. These ingredients include tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, salt, spices and herbal extracts, but the different proportions will create a product with a completely different taste.
That is the secret of the delicious taste of Heinz. The rigorously guarded formula has remained largely unchanged over the past century. Many experts estimate that only ten people in the world know the recipe and where the Heinz sauce recipe is hidden. There is a rumor that unlike the regular models, the Heinz recipe is only passed down within the family in the form of hereditary and/or if necessary, limited information to the chief executive officer in charge of company’s operations.
Coca-Cola is probably one of the most loved beverage brands in the world.
The secret recipe for Coca-Cola drinks is so protected that the number of individuals who know the complete recipe are not even allowed to travel on the same plane, just as medics in the world war are not allowed to stay in the same bomb crater, fearing that they would both be killed in an accident.
In addition to the usual security methods such as separation of ingredients, careful protection, restriction of people, etc., Coca Cola also ensures that there is a written recipe hidden in a safe at SunTrust bank in Atlanta in the worst case the persons holding the formula are deceased at the same time.
For more than 100 years since its founding, the recipe for making Coca Cola is still one of the most secure, arguably most secret, ancient recipe in the world up to the present time. Any party who intends to infringe on the formula by illegal methods such as commercial espionage, theft, breach of confidentiality contract will be pursued by Coca Cola to the end, typically in 2007 when an employee of the company was sentenced to eight years in prison after attempting to sell the secret of making Coca Cola to rival Pepsi in the hope of earning $1.5 million.
More than 100 years, the recipe for making Coca Cola is still kept tightly by the top managers of Coca Cola from spreading through word of mouth, becoming one of the world’s most famous recipes. Many experts assess that if Coca Cola had applied for a patent more than 100 years ago, perhaps this company would not have achieved the success it has today.
Chartreuse – The Secret Recipe of the French Monks Carthusians
Chartreuse is a French herbal liqueur, available in two green and yellow versions that differ in taste and alcohol content. This wine has been made by Carthusian monks since 1737 according to instructions outlined in a manuscript given to them by François Annibal d’Estrées in 1605.
It is named after the Grande Chartreuse monks’ monastery, located in the Chartreuse Mountains north of Grenoble. Today Chartreuse is produced at their distillery in Aiguenoire. The recipe for Chartreuse is said to include aged distilled spirits with 130 herbs, plants and flowers.
Bottles of Chartreuse sell for $50 or more, with some rare bottles costing $1,150 per serving.
Carthusian monks are responsible for making this mysterious drink. Up to now, the recipe for Chartreuse has existed for more than four centuries, and the product and formula that make up this drink are sometimes called the Elixir of Life.
The formula was perfected in 1737 and sold in small bottles. The recipe was protected by monks all these years and as of now, only two monks know the recipe, which is said to include 130 herbs above but specific details about the ingredients, proportions, etc. are completely undisclosed.
KFC Fried Chicken Recipe (Condiments)
Colonel Sanders started researching KFC fried chicken recipes in the 1940s. Only two KFC executives know all the spices that make up this unique fried chicken dish.
In terms of recognition in most countries around the world, KFC is the most authentic and typical symbol of fried chicken, far more than other fried chicken fast food stores like McDonalds’ or Lotteria…
The recipe for this success of KFC comes from the recipe for its unique fried chicken flavor. It is known that KFC protects its marinade recipe, creating its fried chicken spices especially carefully.
Armed guards, 2-foot-thick security walls, 24-hour surveillance, and two unique pin codes for two KFC executives who need to combine to open a warehouse are among the publicly available measures. Of course, there are many secret mechanisms to protect the integrity of the recipe without the public knowing.
Also, not all spices are hidden in a single location. Half of the spices are mixed in one place and taken in another to combine.
Hershey’s is known as one of the best milk chocolates in the world.
In the past, its chocolates have always been dark, but in 1900, Hershey’s first chocolate bar was made from milk according to the recipe of Hershey’s Kisses. Although the company’s competitors have followed suit, producing milk chocolate, none has the signature richness of Hershey’s.
Obviously, Hershey’s method of making chocolate is not public, but is especially strictly protected, because in the category of recipes, the protection of trade secrets will be more feasible, more profitable.
Even with the registration of a patent, the patent owner can only completely prohibit the commercial copying of the invention, but the way of combining and regulating at a slightly different rate from the original formula may not be prohibited. Thereby, competitors can create milk chocolate flavors version 1, 2, 3 without violation.
How to prepare the small percentage of milk in the recipe is said to contribute to the distinctive and unique taste of chocolate. The Hershey Company has a secret laboratory and Hershey’s chocolate production techniques are only passed on to the world’s best chocolate manufacturers for the purpose of research, development, and flavor enhancement.
You can see a list of International IP Firms here.