Flamin’ Hot Cheetos movie to go behind the snack

Mexican immigrant’s story tells journey from janitor to major executive

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SAN ANTONIO – "Flamin’ Hot” follows the true story of Richard Montanez, the Mexican-born immigrant who invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Fox Searchlight won a battle between multiple studios competing for rights to a new movie about the popular snack.

Montanez’s story from janitor to executive vice-president of multicultural sales at PepsiCo is pretty incredible.

Montanez struggled to learn English after moving to California as a child and wound up as a janitor at Frito-Lay in 1976.

Fast forward to the early 1990s when "a production snafu one day left a batch of Cheetos sans cheese dust,” Vulture.com reported.

The janitor took the bag home and made his own seasoning mix based on "elote," or corn-in-a-cup. Elote is a Mexican street food that combines corn with lime juice, salt, chili powder, mayonnaise and cotija cheese.

Montez’s co-workers were raving so much about his Cheeto flavoring that news reached the president of Frito-Lay.

Hot Cheetos ice cream is a thing and you need to have some

He and his wife made a trip to the public library and borrowed a book on business strategies. Montanez purchased his first-ever tie for $3 and went in to sell his hot Cheetos idea to the company executives, according to FoodBeast.

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos is now one of the top-selling snacks for Frito Lay.

Sounds like a great movie to sneak in your favorite spicy snack.

Is the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Thanksgiving turkey the new holiday trend?

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.