Crispy, crunchy, and covered in an irresistible neon orange powder, Doritos are one of America’s favorite snacks.
They were invented at Disneyland
Legend has it, we have Mickey Mouse to thank for these crispy treats, according to Business Insider. Doritos’ parent company, Frito-Lay, operated a restaurant named Casa de Fritos inside the park in the 1960s. When a salesman saw Casa de Fritos throwing away stale tortillas, he suggested they fry them for chips instead. When marketing executive Arch West saw this, he loved the idea and convinced Frito-Lay to start selling the chips nationally in 1966.
Doritos means “little golden things” in Spanish
Well, kind of. While the name has been said to mean “little golden things” by Frito-Lay executives, it doesn’t actually translate that way. Instead, the name was made up by Arch West, who decided to combine the Spanish word for gold, “oro,” with Frito’s suffix “-ito” and tacked a “D” in front because he felt like it. The resulting Doritos was approved, and it’s been the name of these tortilla chips ever since.
The first Doritos weren’t flavored
Originally marketed as a standard, salted tortilla chip, the Doritos sold in 1966 were without their now-iconic neon orange cheese powder. It wasn’t until the next year that Doritos sold their first flavored chip, which was dusted in taco seasonings. Looking for healthier snacks? Try one of these 100 healthy snacks on the go.
Nacho Cheese Doritos are almost 50 years old
First released in 1974, Nacho Cheese Doritos consist of three main flavors: cheddar and Romano cheeses, garlic powder, and salt. The bright, cheesy chip quickly became a favorite of consumers and now accounts for half of Doritos’ sales.
There are some wild flavors
There have been well over 100 different flavors of Doritos. These range from classic, like Spicy Nacho and Cool Ranch, to wacky with flavors like Late Night Cheeseburger, Jacked Ranch Dipped Hot Wings, and Quest (Mountain Dew). If you’re traveling abroad, be sure to check out Olive, Yogurt and Mint, or Clam Chowder-flavored Doritos.
You won’t find Cool Ranch Doritos abroad
At least, they won’t be called Cool Ranch. In countries where ranch dressing isn’t a common condiment, like parts of Europe, these Doritos are called “Cool American” or “Cool Original.” Learn the real reason why chip bags are never filled to the top.
They’ve had a major makeover
In 1994, Frito-Lay spent $ 50 million—the most in the company’s history—to revamp its most popular product, according to The New York Times. The overhaul included market research with chip eaters and grocery stores. The result? Doritos that have rounded corners, more seasoning, and were 15 percent thinner and 20 percent longer. Find out which 17 common food names you’re probably pronouncing wrong.
The Super Bowl is a big deal
via doritos.com, Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock
Doritos has spent some major dough on its Super Bowl commercials for years. In 2007, the chips changed the game by introducing the Crash the Super Bowl contest, which challenged fans to create a Doritos ad for the chance to win $ 100,000 and attend the big game. The competition ran for nine years, with two fan-made commercials earning the highest number of views of all Super Bowl ads, according to the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter. If you’re having a Super Bowl party, make sure you don’t make these mistakes.
Its ads have been to space
When the EISCAT space center in Svalbard, Norway, was short on research funds in 2008, scientists turned to advertisers. In exchange for the necessary funding, the Space Center broadcasted a 30-second Doritos commercial to the star 47 Ursae Majoris, which is about 42 light-years from Earth.
The chips have also been to the grave
In 2011, Arch West, the marketing executive credited with introducing Doritos to the country, passed away at age 97. Because West was an avid lover of Doritos and was involved with taste-testing new flavors up until a month before he passed, his family members sprinkled Doritos on his urn before burial.