Janitor did not create Flamin’ Hot Cheetos: Frito-Lay

Cheetos typically prosper.

A former Frito-Lay plant janitor who lengthy took credit score for inventing Flamin’ Hot Cheetos has been peddling an “urban legend,” an explosive report stated Sunday.

Richard Montañez has repeatedly claimed that he pitched the thought of the chili-covered Cheeto to an govt whereas working as a custodian at Frito-Lay’s plant in Rancho Cucamonga, California, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The story garnered him profitable talking engagements, a forthcoming biopic directed by Eva Longoria and even a e-book deal for his memoir titled, “Flamin’ Hot: The Incredible True Story of One Man’s Rise from Janitor to Top Executive.”

But the corporate says it has no data of Montañez enjoying any position within the snack’s creation, regardless of him telling his success story publicly because the late 2000’s.

“None of our records show that Richard was involved in any capacity in the Flamin’ Hot test market,” Frito-Lay instructed the newspaper in an announcement.

“We have interviewed multiple personnel who were involved in the test market, and all of them indicate that Richard was not involved in any capacity in the test market.”

The firm didn’t dispute Montañez’s inconceivable rise via the corporate, which noticed him go from plant employee to a director centered on advertising and marketing.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t celebrate Richard, but the facts do not support the urban legend,” the corporate stated.

Richard Montanez has said that he pitched the idea for the spicy Cheetos while working as a janitor.
Richard Montañez has stated that he pitched the thought for the spicy Cheetos whereas working as a janitor.
Tribune News Service through Getty Images

The firm launched an investigation to find out the true inventor after they had been contacted by a former worker, Lynne Greenfeld, who got here up with the Flamin’ Hot title as a junior worker in 1989, based on the report.

Nearly twenty years later, she had been shocked to come back throughout an Esquire weblog publish that credited Montañez with its creation.

“It is disappointing that 20 years later, someone who played no role in this project would begin to claim our experience as his own and then personally profit from it,” she instructed the paper.

One firm govt, nonetheless, has maintained Montañez was the important thing ingredient to the snack.

Former govt Al Carey, who has been stated to have inspired Montañez to pitch CEO Roger Enrico, stated “the product that we know today as Flamin’ Hot Cheetos was definitely not out in the market” earlier than he met with Montañez in 1992.

When pressed on newspaper clips in regards to the snack that predated the assembly, Carey stated it was doable that there was an analogous product already within the works.

“I’m sure if you went back into the Frito-Lay history, OK, there’s probably something in 1990 that was a test market on a spicy product. I’ll be surprised if it was this same ingredient, but it could have been, I guess,” he stated.

Montañez didn’t reply to requests for remark, the newspaper reported.

According to Frito-Lay, Richard Montanez had no part in making Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
According to Frito-Lay, Richard Montañez had no half in making Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Los Angeles Times

The firm’s investigation, nonetheless, led it to conclude that the snack was “created by a team of people” and “as with all of our products, we do not credit one person with a product invention or flavor extension,” based on inner emails obtained by the newspaper.

“We value Richard’s many contributions to our company, especially his insights into Hispanic consumers, but we do not credit the creation of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos or any Flamin’ Hot products to him,” the corporate stated in an announcement.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.