Security for secret recipes

Sept. 9, 2008

Mmmmm, fried chicken. Maybe not good for your heart, and definitely not good for your waistline, but it's still one of America's favorite foods (and mine as well).

So, the security angle on this post is that KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken, even though in this heart-healthy age they've been trying to distance themselves from the word "fried") is moving its secret recipe.

While probably more hype than substance, Kentucky Fried Chicken is taking "Colonel Sanders' Famed Secret Recipe" from its former storage location to a new storage location as it does some modernization at its Kentucky location. They've hired on Brink's and the local police in Louisville to help out on the wagon train of security as they seek to protect their recipe of 11 herbs and spices. In the end, it's just another recipe for fast food, but KFC is calling it one of "America's most valuable trade secrets".

"My first security recommendation to keep this high-value asset safe is to move it to a top-secret, secure location until new corporate security upgrades are in place," said former New York City Police Detective Bo Dietl, who was hired on by KFC as a security consultant for its project.

Here's their full press release:

KFC to Showcase Historic Safe & Move Colonel Sanders' Famed Secret Recipe Via High-Security Motorcade
KFC Unveils Plans to Temporarily Relocate Original Recipe and Modernize Security for the Brand's Iconic Blend of 11 Herbs and Spices as it Launches New Original Recipe Chicken Strips
LOUISVILLE, Ky., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The secret's out. Or, at least it will be later today. After being locked in a safe for 68 years, Colonel Harland Sanders' handwritten Original Recipe(R) will temporarily be relocated to a secret-secure location as KFC modernizes the safekeeping of one of America's top corporate trade secrets.
The move comes as KFC launches its Original Recipe Boneless Chicken Strips, the first-ever line extension carrying the flavor of Sanders' secret blend of 11 herbs and spices.
"With our Original Recipe Strips, KFC is putting a first-ever modern twist on our historic Original Recipe," KFC President Roger Eaton explained. "The addition of these new boneless strips to our menu will greatly complement the Colonel's signature Original Recipe fried chicken in a form that fits consumers' on-the-go lifestyle."
As a long-standing cornerstone of the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain, Sanders' Original Recipe ranks among America's most valuable trade secrets.
"The concept of having a secret recipe is priceless and it provides KFC with a meaningful point of difference and a competitive advantage," said Ron Paul, president of Technomics.
Today's Historic Relocation
For the first time in 68 years, KFC is moving the Colonel's most prized possession. To help keep its most valuable asset safe, KFC has hired national corporate security expert and former New York City Police Detective Bo Dietl to consult on its security modernization project and oversee the temporary relocation of Sanders' Original Recipe.
"My first security recommendation to keep this high-value asset safe is to move it to a top-secret, secure location until new corporate security upgrades are in place," said Dietl.
With the help of the Louisville Metro Police Department and Brink's, Incorporated, an armored car and a locked briefcase handcuffed to Mr. Dietl, the Original Recipe will be transported from KFC corporate headquarters to an undisclosed location for safekeeping while Dietl's recommended security upgrades are evaluated.
Original Recipe for Safekeeping
It takes many moving parts to keep the secret Original Recipe under wraps. Only two KFC executives know the finger-lickin' recipe of 11 herbs and spices. A third executive knows the combination to the safe where the handwritten recipe resides. Less than a handful of KFC employees know the identities of the three executives, who are not allowed to travel together on the same plane or in the same car for security reasons.
The specific details of the secret recipe of herbs and spices are shrouded in secrecy, even among the suppliers who produce and blend it. Multiple suppliers are involved in the process, bound by strict secrecy agreements, and none of the individual suppliers know the entire formula. To further safeguard the secret recipe, KFC does not identify the suppliers involved in producing and blending the recipe.
Successful Secret
Colonel Harland Sanders created the now-famous Original Recipe in 1940, and it hasn't changed since. While Sanders' Original Recipe fried chicken is a mainstay of the KFC menu, the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain is also giving the Original Recipe a modern makeover, by introducing Original Recipe Strips. The new product combines the home-style taste that America knows and loves with the innovation of KFC's popular boneless chicken strips.
KFC Can Protect Your Secrets Too
The same company that has kept the Colonel's Original Recipe a secret for decades will now keep your secret safe! To celebrate the introduction of Original Recipe Strips and the Colonel's closely guarded secret, we encourage you to share your secret for safekeeping. Submit your secret to our all-new, high-tech virtual "Secret Safe" at


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