The original recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken’s famous 11 herbs and spices is one of the most valuable trade secrets in the U.S. It might have been accidentally revealed by showing an old will to a reporter.
No matter how new and innovative they might be, recipes cannot be copyrighted or trademarked. If you were to create a new steak sauce, for example, it does not matter how many bottles you sell. Anyone else could use the exact same ingredients in the exact same proportions and bottle the sauce for themselves.
In order to protect valuable recipes, they must be kept secret and anyone with knowledge of the recipes must be legally obliged to keep the secret. If that is not done, then the ability of the recipe’s creator to pass it on to his or her heirs in a way that retains its value is greatly diminished.
One of the most valuable such secret recipes is the 11 herbs and spices that Colonel Sanders used to create his original recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The recipe, which has been kept secret for decades, has now been possibly revealed as NBC News reports in “The Colonel's Secret Recipe Revealed? Not So Fast, Says KFC.”
While interviewing a nephew of Sanders, a reporter was shown a scrapbook that contained the will of Sanders’ second wife. On the back of the will was printed a recipe for 11 herbs and spices the nephew claimed was the original recipe.
KFC’s current owner denies that it is the correct formula.
If this does turn out to be the original recipe that needed to be kept secret by Sanders’ estate, it would be ironic that it was printed on the back of a will of all places.
Reference: NBC News (Aug. 26, 2016) “The Colonel's Secret Recipe Revealed? Not So Fast, Says KFC.”
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