KFC Is Storing a Copy of Its Secret Recipe in Sweden’s Pionen Bunker

The former Cold War facility is 100 feet below the surface
kfc recipe
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images

A woman walks her dog past the entrance to the Pionen high-security computer storage facility in Stockholm, Sweden.

Well, the day has finally come. A robot took Colonel Sanders’ job. In the past, the character has been played by famous faces including Rob Lowe, Ray Liotta and Reba McEntire, but now the role is being filled by one buff and brawny “RoboCop,” which the company says was commissioned to transport an encrypted copy of KFC’s top-secret fried chicken recipe to one of the most secure vaults on the planet — a maximum-security former nuclear bunker called Pionen in Stockholm, Sweden.

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“For decades, fried chicken fans have tried and failed to recreate the distinctive, sought-after taste of the Colonel’s secret recipe,” KFC U.S. chief marketing officer Andrea Zahumensky said in a release. “So more than 30 years after his debut, we recommissioned RoboCop with a new directive — to act as protector and preserve a copy of our secret recipe by transporting it to a nuclear-proof location. Now, if you happen to survive the apocalypse, you can still enjoy Kentucky Fried Chicken. Makes perfect sense, right?”

The ingredients in KFC’s world-famous fried chicken are among the world’s best-kept food secrets. After the real Colonel Sanders invented the recipe, he signed a copy and locked it inside a vault at KFC’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. The blend of 11 herbs and spices is still in use today, but its components remain a mystery because the ingredients are supplied by two separate manufacturers, and then blended by a third supplier. KFC’s head chef and company president claim they don’t even know the recipe.

colonel robocop

Courtesy of KFC
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Until now, there had only been that one hard copy, but according to KFC, a triple-encrypted digital copy was made and sent to Pionen, a data center located in a Cold War-era nuclear bunker buried 100 feet underground and strong enough to survive the blast of a hydrogen bomb, according to a statement from Jon Karlung, CEO of the data company Bahnhof, which now runs the facility. Should anything ever happen to the precious original fried chicken recipe, a second copy will be super-safeguarded in the White Mountains of Stockholm, one of the cleanest cities in the world. Looks like we’ll never get the scoop on Sanders’ secret herbs and spices, but we can spill these 10 crazy secrets your favorite fast food chains don’t want you to know.