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The man who didn't invent the Flamin 'hot Cheetos-Los Angeles times

Durante la última década, Richard Montañez ha estado contando la historia de cómo inventó los Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. El mundo se ha tragado la historia.El hombre que no inventó los Flamin' Hot Cheetos - Los Angeles Times El hombre que no inventó los Flamin' Hot Cheetos - Los Angeles Times

The story is as follows: he worked as a janitor at the fried-light plant in Rancho Cucamonga when he dreamed of a chili-covered cheeto and believed enough in himself to call the general director and present his spicy idea.


7:23 a.m.may.19, 2021an Earlier version of this article Said Lynne Greenfeld and Miguel Lecuona Attended Business School at Northwestern.The Business School They Attended was at the university of north carolina at chapel hill.

Some in the company tried to sabotage Montañez for leaving the production line, but he overcame them, driven by hunger for success.Flamin ’Hots became an overwhelming success and Montañez ascended to become an icon.

Seeing his numerous presentations, it is easy to see why his story has taken off.


Montañez is a charismatic speaker, and his history of a Mexican American with few resources whose ingenuity conquered the business world, is a story of how to get rich that has become the origin of a very popular snack.

With its spicy flavor and its neon red dust, the Flamin ’Hot Cheetos have inspired viral rap videos, menus worthy of Instagram and street clothing designs.The schools have banned this snack for their popularity among children.It is difficult to obtain clear income figures, but almost all important fried-light lines, from the smartfood popcorn to the funyuns, now have a variety of Flamin ’Hot in the market.

Montañez has built a lucrative second career telling and selling this story, appearing at events for Target, Walmart, Harvard and USC, among others, and charging between $ 10,000 and $ 50,000 per appearance.

His second memoir, “Flamin’ Hot: The Incredible True Story of One Man’s Rise from Janitor To Top Executive ”, will go on sale in June on a Seal of Penguin Random House.

This summer will begin the filming of a biographical film based on his life, directed by Eva Longoria and produced by Christian blockbuster Devon Franklin for Searchlight Pictures.Both the book and the film were sold after a war of offers: Montañez's story is undeniably hot.


There is only one problem: Montañez did not invent the Flamin ’Hot Cheetos, according to interviews with more than a dozen fried-light employees, the record of the archives and the fried-Lay itself.

"None of our records shows that Richard was involved in any capacity in the Flamin 'Hot Testing Market," Frito-Lay wrote in a statement to The Times, in response to questions about an internal investigation whose existence has not been revealedpreviously."We have interviewed multiple staff members who were involved in the test market, and they all indicate that Richard was not involved in any capacity in the test market."

"That does not mean that we do not celebrate Richard," the statement continues, "but the facts do not support the legend."

The Flamin ’Hots were created by a team of professionals from 1989, in the corporate offices of the Frito-Lay headquarters in plan, Texas.The new product was designed to compete with the spicy snacks that were sold in the minimeries of the city center.Lynne Greenfeld, a Junior employee with a newly obtained MBA, received the commission to develop the brand, devised the name Flamin ’Hot and directed the line.

Montañez lived a less Hollywood version in its history, ascending from plant worker to marketing director.He also launched new products initiatives, which may have changed the course of his career.

But Montañez began to publicly attribute the merit of the invention of the Flamin ’Hots in the late 2000s, almost two decades after his invention.He first spoke of it in speeches in ceremonies of awards ceremonies to local businesses and philanthropy.Then, online media, eager for a success story, his claims made viral.

And no one in fried-loy stopped him.Most of the original Flamin ’Hot team had retired in the 2000s, but the few left let the story spread without control.

Greenfeld contacted fried-light in 2018 after seeing for the first time that Montañez attributed the merit of the Flamin ’Hot Cheetos, which triggered an investigation of the company.This process unearthed evidence that questions its version and led the company to the conclusion it shared with The Times: “We value Richard's numerous contributions to our company, especially their knowledge about Hispanic consumers, but we did not attribute the creation of the creation ofFlamin 'Hot Cheetos or any Flamin' Hot Product.

The producers of their biographical film, despite having been informed of Frito-Lay problems in 2019, announced the cast of the film in early May.

The producers of the film and the editorial of the latest Montañez book did not respond to the requests for comments before the publication of this article.


The market is fashionable

The nucleus of Montañez's story was based on the presentation meeting that, according to him, changed his life, in which he sold his idea of the Flamin ’Hot Cheetos directly to the Frito-Lay elite.In his new memoirs, he describes a dramatic scene, with more than 100 people, most of them “outstanding executives”, gathered next to the Director General in a conference room of the Cucamonga Rancho Complex to witness his presentation.

The Times spoke with 20 people who worked in Frito-Lay divisions responsible for the development of new products 32 years ago, when the Flamin ’Hot Cheetos saw the light for the first time.None remembers anything like the episode that Montañez describes that it took place.

"If that story existed, believe me, we would have heard of it," said Ken Lukaska, who worked as a product manager for the main brand of Cheetos when the Flamin ’Hots were throwing themselves at the national level."This guy should appear to the elections if he is so good to deceive everyone."

The idea that became Flamin ’Hots did not come from Rancho Cucamonga, or California, not even the Frito-Lay headquarters in Texas.

Six of the former employees remember that inspiration came from the stores in the corner of Chicago and Detroit.One of the first press articles about the product corroborates this detail: a fried-light spokesman told Dallas Morning News in March 1992 that "our sales group in the northern United States asked for them."

Fred Lindsay, a retired fried-light vendor from the southern Chicago zone, is more concrete: "I was responsible for us to get into Flamin’ Hot products. "

The last years of the 80s were a very hard time in the field of corporate food, and Pepsico Inc, the Frito-Lay parent company, was freeing a three-front marketing war.In its restaurant division, Pizza Hut made its way to the cast to defend Domino’s, and Taco Bell resorted to free refreshment recharges to reduce competition.

Pepsi's beverage business was immersed in the queue war, which lasted a decade, and its striking general director, Roger Enrico, invested millions in advertising agreements with Michael Jackson and Madonna to move the people of King Coke away.

La batalla de Frito-Lay fue más silenciosa pero igual de brutal. La empresa había sido la campeona de los aperitivos salados durante décadas, desde que Frito Co. y H.W. Lay & Co. se fusionaron por primera vez, pero Anheuser-Busch había salido al mercado con su línea nacional Eagle Snacks, y Frito-Lay estaba perdiendo terreno.


For years, Lindsay dedicated himself to sales in Chicago and the region of the great lakes, where he witnessed how the spicy products of the regional competitors "disappeared from the shelves" in the neighborhood stores and the gas stations.So he started pressing so that the marketing department devised something."I went crazy to try to introduce spicy products in the market," says Lindsay.

When he was promoted to the headquarters of Plane, where he worked for the UDS business (abbreviation for “Up and Down the Street”, that is, any liquor store, grocery store or minimerIt had already been adopted by the marketing department.

"The funny thing is that a year ago I heard a type of California attributed the merit of having created the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, which is crazy, "says Lindsay.“I don't try to attribute merit;I just try to clarify things. ”

The commission to create spicy products from the competition reached the Sharon Owens entrance tray, a product director of the Single Service Group of the time.Unlike the main brands -fritos, doritos, cheetos and lays-, whose managers hadto spend.

Owens recalls that he assigned the project to a new employee: Greenfeld.

El hombre que no inventó los Flamin' Hot Cheetos - Los Angeles Times

Lynne Greenfeld, former Frito-Lay employee

Flamin ’Hot was Greenfeld's first project in the company when it started in the summer of 1989, just departure from the MBA program of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.At that time, to enter Pepsico it was practically obligatory to have a title in business businesses, with rare exceptions for Babson College, the Alma Mater de Enrico.

Miguel Lecuona, MBA's partner in Greenfeld, joined the Single Serve team at the same time, working in sweet snacks and other strange products that were next to the cash register of a minisuper."I dedicated myself to cookies," said Lecuona, "and Lynne Greenfeld to small bag business."

"We were going to a field marketing tour and we brought 50 different bags of fried potatoes that we had not seen in our lives; they told us that we were losing sales due to that type of product line at that time," said Lecuona, ""And then Flamin 'Hot was just an idea of flavor. ”

In the following months, Greenfeld toured the small stores in Chicago, Detroit and Houston to better learn what consumers wanted.She worked with fried-light product and packaging equipment to find the combination of flavors and the appropriate brand for the bags.He opted for a Diablo Logo holding a cheeto, a fried or a fried potato in a fork, depending on the content of the bag, recalls, a memory corroborated independently by the archives of the newspapers.


In the summer of 1990, the product entered its test market.The registered fried-light brand for the name Flamin ’Hot indicates that August as the month in which the product made its debut.

A trio of Flamin ’Hot snacks -fritos, cheetos and lays- reached the small stores in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Houston, according to the article of the Dallas Morning News and the ads in the newspapers of the new products in those regions.

Frito-Lay corroborated many of the details of this story, writing that “in 1989 there were spicy products of regional competition in the market”, including a spicy fried potato of intense red color of the Chicago Jays snack company.

"In response, Frito-Lay launched a Lay’s, Cheetos, Fritos and Bakenets spicy test market in Chicago, Detroit and Houston" as of August 1990, the company wrote in a statement.

Frito-Lay wrote that "a product or an extension of flavor is the work of a number of people as diverse as R&D, sales and marketing, all of which are proud of the products they help create."

An internal promotional video of the Cheetos brand of the first quarter of 1991 serves as additional proof that the Flamin ’Hots were already in the world.

The video of almost nine minutes, which Lukasska shared with The Times, is a green time capsule and pink day-glo, with fried-light executives dressed in fashionable suits that promote the last and best snack aimed atChildren, Cheetos Paws.At one point, two DDB Advertising executives Needham interpret a rap of the “New Jack City” time about Chester's freshness himself.The Flamin ’Hots appear in the clip for less than a second, in a rapid slide pass to the rhythm of“ U can’t touch This ”by MC Hammer, along with two other minor brands of the moment, Cheetos Curls and Cheetos Light.

The trial markets soon showed that Lindsay's idea was correct and that Greenfeld's execution worked.Flamin ’Hot Cheetos and Lays spread throughout the country in early 1992 and gradually became a success.

Greenfeld, who now uses his marriage name, Lemmel, said he is “very proud” to lead the team that put the Flamin ’Hots in the world, and having devised the name of the brand Flamin’ Hot.


"It is disappointing that, 20 years later, someone who did not play any role in this project begins to claim our experience as well and to personally benefit from it," he added.

Act as owners

Montañez did not respond to the multiple requests for comments by email, telephone, direct message, attempts to contact him through an advertising agent and questions delivered to a family member in a house that appears in the name of Montañez.

Hours after the initial publication of this story, Montañez published a video on his Instagram account, aimed at "all of you, young leaders."

“I don't care what place are you, there is always someone who is going to try to steal your destiny.They can even say that you have never existed, ”Montañez tells the camera.“I want you to do this: write your story, because if you don't do it, another will do it.Remember it.And this also remembers this, the best way to destroy a positive message is to destroy the messenger.Never let that happen to you.Of course, I will not allow me to happen to me. "

The background of the entry of Flamin ’Hot Cheetos in the market in 1990 point to an impossibility in the center of Montañez history all the time.

In a story after another, Montañez says that he felt driven to invent the Flamin 'Hot Cheetos after watching a motivation video of Enrico, the general director of the company, which encouraged all Frito-Lay workers to “act asowners ”and take care of the business.

And again and again, he says that Enrico was the general director whom he called with courage to launch his idea and that Enrico flew to Rancho Cucamonga weeks later to witness his launch in person.In his new memories, Montañez clearly reaffirms this statement: Enrico's name appears 60 times in the text.

But Enrico did not work in Frito-Lay when Flamin ’Hot products were developed.His transfer to Frito-Lay was announced in December 1990, and he assumed control in early 1991, almost six months after the Flamin ’Hots were already in the test market.


When the Flamin ’Hot line entered for the first time in the trial markets in the summer of 1990, Robert Beeby directed Frito-Lay.Wayne Calloway directed the parent company, Pepsico.Enrico was the president and general director of Pepsico Worldwide Beverages, the Independent Pepsico Division, and directed the company in the "War" of the Tails.

Enrico went on to direct Pepsico as a whole at the end of the 90s, and the first mention in the media of his “I Own the New Frito-Lay” campaign occurred in an article in May 1992 in Ad Day.He retired in 2001 and died while practicing snorkel in the Cayman Islands in 2016. The Times has not found any public comments on Flamin ’Hot Cheetos or any Flamin’ Hot product.

Patti Rueff, who worked as a secretary of Enrico for decades when he went from the beverage business to Frito-Lay and the dome of the parent company, vividly remembers Montañez calling his office to speak with Enrico, once he already directedFrito-Lay, in 1992 or 1993, and after Flamin 'Hot products were already on the shelves.

Another Frito-Lay executive played a key role in the history of Flamin ’Hot de Montañez: Al Carey, a fried-light veteran who worked in the company for almost 40 years, ascending to the top of the corporate pyramid.

Carey seems to be the only Frito-Lay executive who worked in the company at the time of the development of the Flamin ’Hot that has publicly supported the version of Montañez's events over the years.

In 1990, Carey worked as vice president of national sales in the plane offices.When Enrico arrived, he promoted Carey to supervise a new division of vending machines and stores in early 1992, and then to the president of the Frito-Lay West division, based in the area of the Bay, at the end of that year.

Carey became president and general director of Frito-Lay North America in 2006. In 2007, Montañez began telling his story in public, and both have made joint appearances in several public events throughout their careers.

Montañez writes in his new memories that he met Carey in the late 1980s, when the Executive made a visit to the Cucamonga plant.When Montañez called him to ask for advice on his idea of spicy cheetans, he says, Carey encouraged him to call Enrico directly.

To Carey, former president and general director of Frito-Lay North America

In an interview, Carey, 69, said he initially met Montañez after becoming president of the Frito-Lay West division in December 1992, and that Montañez proposed a set of products aimed at the Latin market.When she was asked how that timeline with the 1990 Flamin ’Hot brand fits and the test market, Carey insisted that Montañez is the creator of the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.


"The product we know today as Flamin’ Hot Cheetos was definitely not on the market "before its meeting with Montañez, Coey said."That product was developed by those boys on the plant."

When asked to explain the press clippings and the stories of former employees who place the Flamin ’Hot Cheetos in the market two years earlier, Carey clarified his statement."This is so long ago, that I bet there was a spicy Cheeto in the Chicago market, L.A., perhaps also in Houston," Carey said.

"Of all the people who are in Pepsico or around Pepsico, I am the one who has the most experience," he continued."I can surely promise you that there was no brand development, no brand released called Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, ""The ingredients, that is the magic of the product," said Carey.

The Frito-Lay statement contradicted its former general director."According to our records, McCormick, provider of fried-light condiments for a long time, developed the flamin 'Hot seasoning and sent the initial samples to Frito-Lay on December 15, 1989," said the statement. "This is essentiallyThe same seasoning as Frito-Lay today uses. ”

Carey said I wasn't sure how to explain that contradiction."I am sure that if one goes back to the story of Frito-Lay, okay, there is probably something in 1990 that it was a market test in a spicy product," he said."I would be surprised that it was this same ingredient, but it could have been, I suppose."

When asked about the central launch meeting to Montañez account, Carey said Enrico was not among the attendees.

"Of course, stories grow, and the more we move away from the date the stories evolve," Carey said."Surely Richard has given him a little flavor."

He said that he "strongly suggested" that Montañez retired when he did, in 2019, if he wanted to follow his career as a motivational speaker, memoir writer and films subject.

"Theoretically it is not supposed to give a speech and pay you for it if you are still part of the company," Carey said.“I told him that this is a fun story;It should not be controversial;Your inclination to dramatize the story a bit, you have to stay away from that. ”

But he repeated that Montañez was the key to the success of Flamin ’Hot Cheetos.Many products have become successes, he said, only after a charismatic leader appears."They may not have invented the ingredient, but they have invented the energy behind this thing and positioning, and then becomes a success," he said.


"Without Richard, this would not be out there," he concluded.

The core of truth

Behind the history of Montañez, visible through its inconsistencies and supported by the documented timeline of the events, there is a real story of a man who ascends on the corporate scale, from the factory floor to the marketing executive, throwing some products along the way.

Montañez was born in Ontario within a Mexican American family who lived in the unbalanced community of Guasti, a set of buildings and shops east of Los Angeles, where some of his family's men earned a living picking up grapes.

He left school, but no, as he has affirmed in previous appearances in the media, after the fourth grade or, as he affirms in his new memoirs, before the sixth.Montañez seems to have arrived at least to the ninth grade-he appears in the first-year class section of the 1972 Chaffey High Yearbook, but disappears from the yearbooks in the area after that.

Montañez got a job at the Frito-Lay plant in Rancho Cucamonga in the late 1970Ascended to machinery operator in October 1977, shortly after hiring.In that position, he writes in his new memories, he headed a program to reduce waste in the assembly chain.

After Enrico moved to Frito-Lay and that the motivational campaign "I Own the New Frito-Lay" extended throughout the company, a single press cut in which Montañez appears offers a panoramic race.

U.S.News and World Report of December 1993 focuses on companies that find success by promoting its employees.The Frito-Lay section talks about the Cucamonga Rancho plant, where director Steve Smith had adopted the Enrico initiative and achieved that more first-line workers thought about how to improve the company as a whole.

"The veteran machinist Richard Montañez, 37, felt so animated by Smith's new operational style that, after listening to the sellers, he developed a new concept of ethnic food aimed at the Hispanic market," writes the journalist."After trying recipes and outlining a marketing strategy, Montañez found an idea core: Flamin’ Hot Popcorn, which will soon make its debut. "


A news cable from the industry announced that the Palomitas Flamin ’Hot arrived at the shelves in March 1994, as an extension of the Flamin’ Hot line that Greenfeld and his colleagues had launched four years before.

At that time, Montañez began working in a product line specifically directed to the Latin market of the Los Angeles area: tasty.The images that Montañez has published in his Instagram account show that the tasty line included pican popcorn popcornBuñuelito style.

Roberto Siewczynski worked in the tasty test market in 1994 as an external consultant of Casanova, a wing of the McCann advertising agency centered on Latinos, and remembers that Montañez was very involved in the process.

Siewczynski's memories about the Sabrositas marketing campaign coincide with what Montañez describes in his memoirs, although Montañez relates his story to Flamin ’Hot products, not with the launch of tasty.

"Yes, I went to Rancho Cucamonga," said Siewczynski, where he was surprised to know that the tasty project was directed by production and distribution workers, not by the marketing department, as a campaign promoted by the community and centered on the marketLatino de los Angeles.“It was:‘ Hey, the plant really wants to do this;Richard really wants to do it, ’and eliminated much of traditional management.”

Remember Montañez as a colorful and attractive narrator, very dear to all his co -workers in the plant.And remember a creation story, but one that focused on the fried of Limón and Chile, not on the Flamin ’Hot Cheetos.

Montañez "told the whole story of how when he was a child, he put Limón and Chile in his fried, and that was somewhat the impulse for the design of the product," said Siewczynski.

In his new memoirs, Montañez writes that he took advantage of the local network of women who organized Tupperware parties to get the Flamin ’Hot Cheetos to the clients of South California as a way to reinforce the difficult test market.

Siewczynski remembers the same story for tasty."The product was launched without media or advertising," he said."We did a strategic association with Tupperware, where they took the product to their parties," he added, remembering a mortifying presentation he made as a 22 -year -old publicist before a room of hundreds of tupperware ladies, who joked on stage for being so youngand handsome.

The Frito-Lay records shared with The Times show that Montañez was promoted to a specialist in Technical Quality Control Services from 1998 to 2002, then left the plant and amounted to a director position.Throughout his trajectory, he received numerous praise from both community groups and the general directors of Pepsico.


He is now retired, at 60, after an entire race ascending the corporate ladder.Montañez went from poverty to wealth, from the factory to the company.Only he did not manufacture the Flamin ’Hot Cheetos.

The investigation

The Flamin ’Hot Cheetos became a cultural phenomenon in the 2000s. Already in 2005, school administrators considered the possibility of prohibiting them in classrooms due to their popularity and the ease with which they distracted students;Pasadena's schools ended up prohibiting them in 2012. Their first moment came that same year, in a 2012 viral rap video, "Hot Cheetos and Takis", a song written and played by a group of children as part of a extracurricular programIn northern Minneapolis.Since then, pop-up restaurants and fashion lines have been created, as well as innumerable Flamin ’Hot Cheetos menus ready for Instagram in restaurants throughout the country.

Montañez's story about the janitor who had invented the Flamin ’Hot Cheetos gained strength and served as a basis for publications in blogs and online videos.Montañez's own Instagram account accumulated tens of thousands of followers, and those she has on Tiktok already exceed 100,000.

But the people who had worked in the original Flamin ’Hot line were not watching viral videos or reading food blogs aimed at the young public.Most of them had already left the company in the early 2000s. Most had already retired.

Greenfeld, the head of the Flamin ’Hot team, did not see the story of the consierge that invented the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos until the summer of 2018, when she ran into a publication on a blog of the Esquire website.

Greenfeld was surprised to see someone attributed the merit of a product in which she had worked.He contacted an acquaintance who still worked in Frito-Lay, according to the emails seen by The Times, asking if they had heard of the history of Montañez, and if they knew someone whom he could alert in the legal department thatA person was claiming to have invented the Flamin 'Hot Cheetos.

Michele Thatcher, head of the Global Human Resources Department of PepsicThere was some, there could be with its history.With the passing of the decades, institutional memory was lost.

Other emails show that the company initiated an investigation into the origin of Flamin ’Hot after Greenfeld's initial email.


In a December 2018 message, Leanne Oliver, general counselor of Frito-Lay North America, wrote that he did not believe that there was "no doubt" that the Flamin's test market 'Hot was prior to "Cucamonga's meeting" inThe one that Montañez launched some type of product.

In a later email, another Frito-Lay lawyer, Susan Chao, wrote: “We know that you and the legal department worked together to register‘ Flamin ’Hot’ ”, but asked Greenfeld if he remembered who had invented the name."I came up with the name Flamin’ Hot, "Greenfeld replied.

The investigation pronto llegó a un punto muerto. Montañez se jubiló en marzo de 2019. Carey, su mentor corporativo, se retiró ese mismo mes.

The next month, Oliver wrote in an email that “Frito-Lay will continue to adopt the position that Flamin 'Hot Cheetos was created by a team of people and, as with all our products, we do not attribute to a single person the inventionof a product or the development of flavor ”.

Carey and Montañez appeared together shortly after, in a June 2019 ceremony in which Carey accepted an award for the trajectory of the Community Union of Eastern Los Angeles.In a video created for the event, Montañez changed its history, saying that it was Carey, and not Enrico, who created the motivational video that inspired him to create Flamin 'Hot Cheetos in the first place, although since then he has returned to his version of theHistory with Enrico.

At present, Carey is part of the Board of Directors of Home Depot, he is the executive president of the Textile Unifi company, of North Carolina.

Indra Nooyi, who was president and CEO of Pepsico while Carey directed Frito-Lay and Pepsi's drinking business, has commented on the new Montañez memories, qualifying them as "Tour de Force".(Nooyi also retired in 2019).Tom Greco, who took care of Frito-Lay once Carey moved to Pepsi, has also written about the book.Nooyi joined Pepsico in 1994, and Greco worked in the Canadian Frito-Lay division until the early 2000s.

Montañez has spent much of his time, since his retirement, working on the speaker circuit, according to his accounts on social networks, giving talks in face -to -face and virtual events for organizations such as Prudential Financial, the Eagles of Philadelphia, the technology companyIndeed hiring, the Technology of Centers of called Genesys, and in Pestworld 2019, the Annual National Pest Management Assn Conference.

After the investigation and its retirement, Montañez has also repeatedly published in its social media accounts photographs of what states that they are original design materials for Flamin ’Hot Cheetos.Many have been deleted recently.

A photograph, published on Instagram in October 2019 but now erased, shows four pieces of scratched notebook paper, labeled as "soft", "reg", "spicy" and "extra spicy", with cheetics stacked on top of each one.At the bottom of one, Montañez signed with his name and wrote the date "1988".


In another post, now erased, he wrote that he worked in the Taste Doritos Salsa Río in 1998 - a product that first arrived at the test markets in 1987, according to the articles of Advertising AGE that year.

In public statements since he conducted his internal investigation, Frito-Lay has adopted a cautious tone.

In an August 2019 interview with Fast Company about Montañez's biographical film, Fronto-Lay Marketing Director Jennifer Sáenz said the company helped the film's producers to gather the historical information that exists about Flamin 'Hot Cheetos.

Next, Sáenz substantially repeated the statement that the company had sent to Lynne a few months before: “In fried-light, and in Pepsico, the extension of a product or flavor is the work of a number of people in functions as diverse as I+D, sales and marketing, all of which are proud of the products they help create. ”

In April 2020, a new marketing director, Rachel Ferdinando, appears in a CNBC video about Flamin ’Hot products.She does not call Montañez the inventor of the product.

But it does name Montañez, saying that "Richard's ideas about the Hispanic consumer really helped us to shape and think about how we should talk to that consumer", adding that his vision of thought "was something we rely on a lot".

The filmmakers behind the Montañez biographical film were informed of possible problems with their history two years ago.In April 2019, Frito-Lay's legal team sent a letter that Greenfeld wrote outlining Franklin's version, whose producer, Franklin Entertainment, is co-producing Montañez's biopic along with Searchlight Pictures.

It is not clear if the producers informed Longoria, who will direct the film.And as many Hollywood projects, the film could use Montañez's story as a starting point for a fictional story.

In early May, Longoria announced that he had chosen the actors who would play Montañez and his wife, and that the film would begin to shoot this summer in New Mexico.


Longoria told Variety that "the highest priority has been to ensure that we are telling the story of Richard Montañez with authenticity."

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