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You won’t believe who invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

Richard Montañez

Hot Cheetos are a favored snack by many people all over the world. Once a man with not many expectations for his career or future, is the same man that invented Hot Cheetos.

Richard Montañez was once an employee at a Frito-Lays factory. He grew up in a humbled community, but also one that didn’t have high standards for career paths. Many of the surrounding kids dreamt to get a job at their local factory. This was him once, too.

One day at work, the owner sent out a video message to all of the employees. He told them to act as if they were the owners of Frito-Lay. A sentiment which didn’t seem to strike a chord in his co-workers, said to Montañez: this is opportunity. One day at work the Cheeto’s assembly line had broken, and he decided to take some home with him.

Now, there is a very common Mexican snack, called elote. Yes, it is corn, but it can be prepared in many different ways. Adding a variety of other things with it for lots of flavor. Montañez was inspired by an elote recipe, when he saw chili powder being added to it. Chili-spiced-Cheetos. It’s genius!

Richard had no experience with marketing or even how to tie a tie. Though coming from a supportive family, they encouraged him to present the idea to the company. He called and was given two weeks to make a proposal.

The executives of Frito-Lays loved his idea!

The Mexican culture is a strong and sturdy one. Richard believes so wholeheartedly in this that he started providing young Latinos with college scholarships. It’s nice to know the brilliant man that invented my favorite hot chips, also has a brilliant heart.

“I do it because I can and I know what it is to be hungry.”

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1 Comment

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