Snacking: everyone’s favorite pastime. Although we have the option to chop up some celery or bite into an apple, most of us reach for a bag of chips or something on the slightly more indulgent side. While we’re busy licking the grease off of our fingers, we often don’t think about the history and stories behind our favorite snacks. But they didn’t just appear in the store out of thin air — they were developed and have been perfected over time. These are the unusual facts and stories behind some of the most timeless snacks.
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Were Invented By A Janitor
In 1976, 12-year-old Richard Montañez landed a job as a janitor at the California Frito-Lay Plant. After years on the job, Montañez saw a company-wide video of the CEO Roger Enrico asking for all employees to act like an owner and to help make it better. So, he took a batch of Cheetos that didn’t receive the iconic orange dust home to experiment.
He remembered the process of making elote — corn on the cob covered in cheese, butter, lime, and chili — and used those ingredients on the Cheetos. He went out and bought his first tie, read some books on marketing, and pitched the idea to the CEO. Enrico loved it and adopted the idea. Since then, Montañez has held numerous positions in the company, including Vice President.