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KFC Security Upgrade Complete

Back in September I reported that KFC was temporarily re-locating their famous 11 herbs and spices recipe so that they could upgrade the security around it. You can find that report here.

Now one of the most famous trade secrets in existence has been placed in its new home. According to this article from, the secret recipe “is now protected by an array of high-tech security gadgets, including motion detectors and cameras that allow guards to monitor the vault around the clock.”

“Thick concrete blocks encapsulate the vault, situated near office cubicles, that is connected to a backup generator to keep the security system operating in times of power outages.”

So, if you were planning on misappropriating the Colonel’s valuable trade secret, it looks like you missed your last best chance–that would have been before they moved it when “the recipe was kept in a filing cabinet equipped with two combination locks in the vault.”


February 10, 2009 Posted by | Intellectual Property, Trade Secrets | , , , | 2 Comments

Famous 11 Herbs and Spices Trade Secret Being Moved is reporting that KFC, owner of one of the most famous corporate trade secrets out there–the secret handwritten recipe of 11 herbs and spices which exists on a yellowing sheet of paper signed by Colonel Sanders himself–is moving the recipe in order to revamp security. You can find the article here.

It’s always interesting to note the extremes that famous trade secret owners sometimes need to take to ensure that their trade secret remains secret. Similar to the secret recipe for Coca-Cola, only two company executives at a time know the 11 herbs and spices and their precise measurements.

Key graphs:

“So important is the 68-year-old concoction that coats the chain’s Original Recipe chicken that only two company executives at any time have access to it. The company refuses to release their name or title, and it uses multiple suppliers who produce and blend the ingredients but know only a part of the entire contents. . . .”

“For more than 20 years, the recipe has been tucked away in a filing cabinet equipped with two combination locks in company headquarters. To reach the cabinet, the keepers of the recipe would first open up a vault and unlock three locks on a door that stood in front of the cabinet.

Vials of the herbs and spices are also stored in the secret filing cabinet.

“The smell is overwhelming when you open it,” said one of two keepers of the recipe in an interview at company headquarters.

The biggest prize, though, is a single sheet of notebook paper, yellowed by age, that lays out the entire formula — including exact amounts for each ingredient — written in pencil and signed by Sanders.”

While the majority of the readers of this blog do not have to worry about such high security, it is always interesting to note when the protection of these major trade secrets arises in the news.

September 9, 2008 Posted by | confidentiality, Trade Secrets | , , , , | 3 Comments