Friday, May 19, 2023

History of Fritos and Cheetos

In 1932, Charles Elmer Doolin, an ice cream salesman, responds to a San Antonio newspaper ad offering the sale of “an original recipe for fried corn chips along with an adapted potato ricer,” by a Mexican man named Gustavo Olguin. Elmer Doolin purportedly bought a bag of friotes at the café and purchased it for five cents.

The chips Doolin purchased were made from corn dough used for centuries by Mexicans to bake bread. Impressed with the product, Doolin sold his ice cream business and purchased the corn chip producer’s business for one hundred dollars and calls it the “Frito”—an Anglicized version of the Spanish word for “little fried thing.”

Doolin began manufacturing them under the name Fritos. His renamed product was a success, and his sales expanded as far as St. Louis, Missouri. In 1945, Doolin met potato chip manufacturer, Herman W. Lay, who agreed to distribute Fritos, which became popular nationwide, and the two companies merged.

Cheetos were invented in the 1948 by Doolin, who cooked early test batches in the Frito Company's Dallas, Texas-based research and development kitchen. The first Cheetos product ever released was Crunchy Cheetos. It remained the brand's only Cheetos product until the introduction of Cheetos Puffs in 1971.

Cheetos began national distribution in the U.S in 1948. It becomes a hit thanks in part to the company’s huge distribution network. After World War II, the two companies began to cooperate in the area of product distribution. At this time they were still limited to their respective geographic markets, with Frito in the Southwest and Lay in the Southeast.

The initial success of Cheetos was a contributing factor to the merger between The Frito Company and Herman W. Lay & Company in 1961 to form Frito-Lay.

In 1965 Frito-Lay became a subsidiary of The Pepsi-Cola Company, forming PepsiCo, the current owner of the Cheetos brand. Flamin' Hot Cheetos were released in the early 1990s and have been a smashing success ever since.
History of Fritos and Cheetos