Remembering marketing-man Arch West, who created Doritos...by scattering chips at his gravesite


It is easy to disassociate big brands with the individuals who created them. How often do we think about the man who conjured up the idea for Doritos, for example.

Well today, to mark the passing of Arch West who created Doritos, we remember the man who imagined the best-selling tortilla chips in the U.S. and introduced Americans to a flavor called Nacho cheese.

West, died September 20 at age 97, was a marketing vice president at Frito-Lay in the early 1960s who created what was called "little bits of gold" in 1966 as companion chips to Frito-Lay's "Fritos" and "Cheetos." They of course continued the rhyme, calling them "Doritos." Doritos' nacho cheese flavor, debuted in 1972 thanks to Mr. West as well.

The chips were aimed at the youth market, marketed as "the with-it chip." Doritos became Frito-Lay's second-biggest seller, behind Lay's potato chips. As with most corporate executives, West received no financial benefit for the huge success of the chip--which now sells more than $1billion worth of chips per year.

The creator of Doritos was from Franklin, Indiana, graduated from college, and became a cheese salesman. After serving as a gunnery officer in the Navy during World War II, he took a job as a food marketer at Lever Brothers. He worked on marketing campaigns for Jell-O.

According to West's daughter his family has plans to toss Doritos chips into his gravesite "before they put the dirt over the urn."

Source: WSJ.com and

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