Too HOT To Handle!! How Richard Montañez's Craving Led to Flamin' Hot Cheetos!

Dec 17, 2020


   Richard Montanez

The things that make you go YUM!!!!   What happens when you just want to eat something hot and it turns into a whole new job for you?  "Richard Montañez worked as a janitor at the Frito-Lay Rancho Cucamonga plant in California since 1976, but that all changed when he decided Cheetos needed an extra kick. Call it luck or a craving, but for Montañez it all began while eating a cup of corn. “I see the corn man adding butter, cheese and chile to the corn and thought what if I add chile to a Cheeto?” He asked himself. It was an idea that would make him a legend. Richard ran to his mom’s kitchen, grabbed some spices and made a test, his friends and co-workers loved it, he called up the president of the company and said he had an idea for a new product - that was the easy part. The difficult part was in the sell. How would janitor with zero-to-no English skills take a simple idea and turn it into a Flamin' Hot product? “I had two weeks to prepare a presentation for the company executives,” said Montañez. So, he copied a marketing strategy from a book he found at the library, “I’m a little bit of an artist so I even designed the bags and put the Cheetos in it,” Montañez explained. The president  loved the idea and since then, the Flaming hot line of products was born, including Flamin' Hot Cheetos - which is Frito-Lay’s top selling snack. Today, Montañez leads Multicultural Sales & Community Promotions across PepsiCo’s North American divisions. He still can’t believe the huge door he opened when he took up a challenge from the company president to think outside the box.   “Many times, greatness will come in ridiculous forms, a ridiculous idea might be a billion dollar idea,” says Montañez, and it certainly was. Flamin Hot Cheetos influenced future ethnic products and the first Frito-Lay Hispanic marketing team. Montañez also helped influence Hispanic products and marketing promotions for KFC and Taco Bell. ound at the library, “I’m a little bit of an artist so I even designed the bags and put the Cheetos in it,” Montañez explained. The president  loved the idea and since then, the Flaming hot line of products was born, including Flamin' Hot Cheetos - which is Frito-Lay’s top selling snack. READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/community/2012/03/26/our-american-dream-richard-montanez-janitor-invents-hot-cheeto/

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