The concierge’s claim to create Flamin ‘Hot Cheetos is an’ urban legend ‘: Frito-Lay – fr

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The concierge’s claim to create Flamin ‘Hot Cheetos is an’ urban legend ‘: Frito-Lay – fr


Cheetos sometimes thrive.

A former Frito-Lay factory janitor who has long taken credit for inventing Flamin ‘Hot Cheetos is peddling an “urban legend,” an explosive report said on Sunday.

Richard Montañez has repeatedly claimed that he pitched the idea of ​​the Chilli-Covered Cheeto to an executive while working as a guard at the Frito-Lay factory in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., The Los Angeles Times reported. .

The story has earned him lucrative speaking engagements, an upcoming biopic directed by Eva Longoria, and even a book deal for her memoir titled ‘Flamin’ Hot: The Incredible True Story of One Man’s Rise from Janitor to Top Executive. “

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But the company says it has no record of Montañez playing a role in creating the snack, though he has been publicly telling his success story since the late 2000s.

“None of our records show that Richard was involved in any capacity in the Flamin ‘Hot testing market,” Frito-Lay told the newspaper in a statement. “We interviewed several staff who were involved in the test market, and all indicate that Richard was not involved in the test market in any way. “

The company did not dispute Montañez’s unlikely rise through the company, which saw him go from factory worker to director focused on marketing.

Richard Montanez, Director of PepsiCo, accepts the Inspiration Award onstage at the ‘Latinos De Hoy Awards 2014’ at the Los Angeles Times Chandler Auditorium on October 11, 2014 in Los Angeles, California., (Getty)

“That’s not to say we don’t celebrate Richard, but the facts don’t support the urban legend,” the company said.

The company launched an investigation to determine the true inventor after being contacted by a former employee, Lynne Greenfeld, who coined the name Flamin ‘Hot as a junior employee in 1989, according to the report.

Almost two decades later, she had been shocked to come across an Esquire blog post that credited Montañez with her creation.

“It is disappointing that 20 years later someone who has had no role in this project is starting to claim our experience as their own and personally benefit from it,” she told the newspaper.

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A business executive, however, maintained that Montañez was the key ingredient in the snack.

Former executive Al Carey, who reportedly encouraged Montañez to introduce CEO Roger Enrico, said that “the product we know today as Flamin ‘Hot Cheetos was definitely not on the market” before meeting Montañez in 1992.

Bags of Cheetos Flamin ‘Hot Crunchy are displayed for sale at Touchdown Food Mart on September 27, 2012, in Chicago, Illinois. (Getty)

When asked for newspaper clippings about the pre-meeting snack, Carey said it’s possible a similar product is already in the works.

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

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Montañez did not respond to requests for comment, the newspaper reported.

The company’s investigation, however, 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 a person with a product invention or extension. flavor, ”according to internal emails. obtained by the newspaper.

“We appreciate Richard’s many contributions to our business, especially his knowledge of Hispanic consumers, but we do not credit him with creating Flamin ‘Hot Cheetos or any other Flamin’ Hot product,” the company said in a statement. communicated.

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