Who created Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? Richard Montañez who claimed to have invented the spicy snack has been brought back to the media spotlight.

An investigative report by Los Angeles Times has received a lot of attention on social media which uncovers the story of the alleged inventor of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

But who exactly invented the Flamin’ Hot line?

John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Who is Richard Montañez?

Richard Montañez is a 62-year-old motivational speaker, author and businessman who shot to stardom as the alleged inventor of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

His career is an inspiration in an upcoming biopic by actress, producer and director Eva Longoria.

Montañez has given talks at many events for Target, Walmart, Harvard, USC, which cost $10,000 to $50,000 per appearance, according to an investigative report by Los Angeles Times.

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His Instagram profile (@hotcheetosrpm) has amassed 78,000 followers.

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Richard Montañez and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

Richard Montañez has claimed for years that he had helped create the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos while he was working as a janitor in a Frito-Lay plant in Rancho Cucamonga.

Frito-Lay have issued a statement in a recent piece by the Los Angeles Times, and said:

“None of our records show that Richard was involved in any capacity in the Flamin’ Hot test market. We have interviewed multiple personnel who were involved in the test market, and all of them indicate Richard was not involved in any capacity in the test market.”

The company went on to add in their statement: “We value Richard’s many contributions to our company, especially his insight into Hispanic customers but we do not credit the creation of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos or any Flamin’ Hot products to him.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t celebrate Richard but the facts do not support the urban legend.”

So, who created Flamin’ Hot Cheetos?

According to the same report by the Times, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos was invented by a few people who had worked at Frito-Lay. Salesman in the Chicago region, Fred Lindsay, and product manager Sharon Owens are two of the people behind the spicy product.

Lynne Greenfield, who was a junior employee at the time, came up with the flavour, the name, and the original packaging ideas, the same report has added.

The Flamin’ Hot line was introduced to test markets in 1990, which is two years before Montañez claimed that he pitched his idea in 1992. 

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