Type Tortilla chip
Owner Frito-Lay
Introduced 1966
Related brands Fritos
Markets worldwide

Doritos (play /dɵˈrtz/) is a brand of seasoned tortilla chips created by Arch West and produced since 1964 by the American food company Frito-Lay (a division of PepsiCo, Inc.).[1][2]

"Doritos" were released in the United States in 1964, the first tortilla chip to be launched nationally.

According to Information Resources International, in 1993, Doritos earned $1.3 billion in retail sales, one-third of the total Frito-Lay sales for the year. This made the chip the leading seller in the snack category, which also comprises cookies, crackers, cakes, and candies. Nevertheless, in the costliest redesign in Frito-Lay history, in 1994 the company spent $50 million to redesign Doritos to make the chips 20% larger and 15% thinner. Roger J. Berdusco, the vice president of tortilla chip marketing, said a primary reason for the change was "greater competition from restaurant-style tortilla chips, that are larger and more strongly seasoned".[3] The design change was the result of a two-year market research study that involved 5,000 chip eaters. The new design gave each chip rounded corners, making it easier to eat and reducing the scrap resulting from broken corners. Each chip was also given more seasoning, resulting in a stronger flavor. The improved chips were released in four flavors beginning in January 1995.[3]

Frito-Lay eliminated trans fat from all Doritos varieties in 2002. The same year, the Doritos brand began complying with U.S. Food and Drug Administration labeling regulations, four years before the regulations became mandatory.[4]

The company was sued in 2003 by Charles Grady, who claimed that his throat had been damaged because of eating Doritos. According to him, the shape and rigidity of the chips made them inherently dangerous. Grady attempted to admit into evidence a study by a former chemistry professor that calculated how best to safely swallow the chips. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court later ruled that the study did not meet scientific standards and could not be presented as evidence.[4]

In 2005, Doritos sales in the United States fell by 1.7% to $595 million. To increase sales in 2006, the company launched several new flavors, a new label, and more bilingual advertising. Frito-Lay vice president Joe Ennen described this as "the most significant rebranding and relaunch in Doritos' 38-year history".[5]



Doritos are sold in many countries worldwide in assorted flavors. The first flavor of Doritos was Taco Flavor in 1964.[citation needed] Nacho Cheese Flavor (Dorito's most popular product) was released in 1972, and for a short run at the end of the 1970s, the Sour Cream and Onion flavored chips were available, but were discontinued in the early 80s.[6] Cool Ranch (known for a time as Cooler Ranch) flavor was released in 1986.

Five versions of 'Doritos Collisions,' which include two different flavors in the same bag, have been produced. Those varieties of Doritos Collisions are Hot Wings/Blue Cheese, Zesty Taco/Chipotle Ranch, Habañero/Guacamole, Cheesy Enchilada/Sour Cream, and Pizza Cravers/Ranch.[7]

In the 1990s, in partnership with parent company PepsiCo's fast food brands, two new flavors of Doritos were introduced, Taco Bell's Taco Supreme (incorporating a "beef" flavoring that was quite different from the original 1960s "Taco" incarnation) and Pizza Hut's Pizza Cravers. After PepsiCo spun off its restaurant division in 1997, the flavors were simply renamed taco and pizza, respectively, with the pizza flavor discontinued in some markets. At around the same time, due to the popularity of Frito-Lay's Tostitos brand the unflavored Toasted Corn was briefly discontinued, then brought back. In 2007 in several markets, there was briefly a Nacho Chipotle Ranch Ripple flavor. In 2008 the Taco Bell flavor was temporarily re-released under the "Back by Popular Demand" label along with Four Cheese.

Also in the 1990s, Doritos had a flavor in Canada called Texas Thang. The flavor was only available for a few years before it was removed from their flavor line-up.

Numerous impromptu online support groups have sprung up over the years among devoted fans who miss the original Doritos Taco flavor formula. Reincarnations and relaunches of the Taco Doritos, including the recent "Back By Popular Demand" campaign, did not recreate the original Taco flavor(a sour cream flavor had been added to the formula around 1985). The taco chips included in the Zesty Taco/Chipotle Ranch "Collisions" bags were very close to the original, but were since discontinued in most of the country.[8] In late 2010 the taco flavor recipe that was used in the 1980s returned in a limited edition "retro" styled bag incorporating the original Doritos logo, and in early 2011 the company announced that this incarnation would remain in the permanent product line-up.[9]

In 2007 Doritos ran a campaign called "Doritos X-13D Flavor Experiment" where black, unidentified bags of Doritos were on the market for consumers to identify and name the flavor. The only flavor identification on these chips was "All American Classic". Rolland Smith was the founder of the variety of different flavors. He has created many flavors including cheeseburger, jalepeno, hot sauce, green peppers, etc.[10]

In 2008, Doritos debuted a "mystery flavor" Quest with prizes being given as puzzles are solved. The mystery flavor was Mountain Dew.[11]

In 2009, Doritos released some new flavors under the banner Doritos Late Night: Tacos at Midnight and Last Call Jalapeno Popper. They also modified the X-13D flavor as All Nighter Cheeseburger.

2010 saw the release of three successively spicy "Degree Burn" flavors (Blazin' Jalapeno, Fiery Buffalo and Scorchin' Habanero), cross promoted to "cool down" with Pepsi's lime "Cease Fire", and the wasabi flavored Mr. Dragon's Fire Chips. 2010 saw the introduction of Doritos to New Zealand and with it flavors including Nacho Cheese, Cheese Supreme, Salted, and Salsa.

In 2011 the original Taco flavor of Doritos was revived, returning to supermarkets. In spring, a Tapatio hot sauce flavor was released. In February of 2011, Doritos Canada gave consumers the chance to write the end of a commercial surrounding two new flavors (Onion Rings n' Ketchup, Buffalo Wings n' Ranch), one of which was taken off shelves when the contest ended. The submission with the most votes was to be shot, and the flavor "destroyed" in that submission was to be taken off shelves. Submissions closed March 13, 2011 and voting closed March 27, 2011. The chosen ending was released on May 5, 2011, with Onion Rings n' Ketchup being the winner.[12]


The brand's marketing campaigns have included many television commercials featuring Avery Schreiber,[13] Jay Leno,[2] and Ali Landry,[14] as well as product placement in movies, such as Wayne's World.[15]

Super Bowl

Nacho Cheese Doritos

For many years, Doritos advertised heavily during the Super Bowl. According to Thomas L. Harris's Value-Added Public Relations, "the most-used single video news release of 1995" was a Doritos Super Bowl Commercial featuring recently-defeated US state governors Mario Cuomo and Ann Richards. The pair were discussing change and the ad ended with viewers aware that the change they referred to was not political, but rather a new packaging for Doritos. The ad generated a great deal of publicity before it ever ran and much discussion afterward. The governors later parodied their ad; when they were interviewed on the CBS news program 60 Minutes, the two were often seen eating Doritos.[16]

In 1998, Doritos cast former Miss USA Ali Landry in a new Super Bowl Commercial. In the ad, filmed in a Laundromat, she plays a sexy customer who catches Doritos chips in her mouth as they come flying helter-skelter. The ad was such a success that Frito-Lay signed Landry, who became known as "The Doritos Girl," to a three-year contract.[17]

For Super Bowl XLI, Doritos launched a contest, Crash the Super Bowl, to allow consumers to create their own Doritos commercial. The general public was allowed to vote for their favorite of five finalists. According to Doritos, the vote was so close that just before the game the company decided to run two of the ads rather than just one. Both commercials finished highly in ratings of commercials during this Super Bowl.[18] The following year, Doritos sponsored a contest to find a musician to feature in a Super Bowl ad. Although the ad, featuring winner Kina Grannis, generated a lot of publicity, it ranked last in popularity among the program's ads.[19]

For Super Bowl XLIII, Doritos relaunched the fan-created commercials, with the winning vote going to the "Free Doritos" ad, which featured an office worker (Comedian Steve Booth) with a snow globe (believing it to be a crystal ball) "predicting" that everyone in the office would get free Doritos, then subsequently throws the snow globe into a vending machine selling nothing but Nacho Cheese & Cool Ranch Doritos.[20] The commercial was ranked by the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter as the best ad for the year, earning the creators of the ad - Joe and Dave Herbert - a US $1 million prize.[21] They again aired two ads during the game ads and the second place ad also placed in the top five according to USA Today. This ad featured a guy who discovers that each crunch from his bag of Doritos causes whatever is on his mind to become reality (until he runs out of chips). Another popular commercial from the group of finalist included an executive making a presentation to other executives on a new (fictional) Doritos flavor called "Doritos Beer", which, as the name implies, is beer-flavored Doritos, with each chip containing enough alcohol as an equivalent of a 16 ounce can of beer. The executive making the presentation, eating the beer-flavored chips, ends up drunk on the chips and is down to his underwear and a tie by the end of the commercial.[22] For Super Bowl XLIV, four ads were entered, and if three of the commercials sweep the top three positions in that year's Ad Meter contest, all of the creators would be awarded a total of US $5 million, broken down as $1 million for first place, $600,000 for second and $400,000 for third, plus each maker would get an additional $1 million.[23]

For the Super Bowl XLIII as aired in Canada, Doritos aired the "Chip Hat" commercial [24] advertising their new "unidentified flavor" chip flavor that offers a prize of CDN $25,000 + 1% of all associated sales to someone that can both name, and create an ad for the new flavor.[25] The new winning name, Scream Cheese (or, in French, Fromage Fracassant), was submitted by Ryan Coopersmith of Montreal.

For the Super Bowl XLIV Doritos aired the "House Rules" commercial, as a “Crash the Super Bowl” finalist. It was ranked by ADBOWL as the second best ad of the year.


In 2008, Doritos were promoted by an "out-of-this-world" advertising campaign, literally beaming a 30 second advertisement for Doritos brand tortilla chips into a planetary system 42 light years away. The project was in collaboration with EISCAT Space Center in Svalbard, Norway. The "You Make It, We'll Play It" contest chose the winning advertisement that was transmitted on June 12, 2008. The ad was beamed towards a distant star within the Ursa Major constellation that is orbited by planets which may harbor life.[26]

Doritos was the main sponsor of Wolverhampton Wanderers for the 2002/03 and 2003/04 seasons, the latter of which was spent in the Premier League. Doritos officially sponsored the "Hail to the Cheese Stephen Colbert's Nacho Cheese Doritos 2008 Presidential Campaign Coverage."[27] The money given to Colbert could not be used to directly fund his campaign, so he used the money to fund The Colbert Report. He claimed that he would not use his show to plug Doritos, but plugged the chips during these claims. After the campaign flopped, Colbert joked that his "body will stop producing bright orange waste."[28] In March 2008, Colbert partnered with Doritos, specifically the Spicy Sweet Chili flavor, to promote his Philadelphia-based coverage of the Pennsylvania primaries.[29] Doritos sponsored Super Bowl halftime shows in the 1990s.[citation needed]

In 2010, Doritos Canada launched a "Viralocity" competition, asking the public to name a new flavour and to produce an online video advertising the fictional new flavor, Natalie Armstrong submitted her video before she received the most points based on numerous factors including, most widely-viewed, wins a cash prize.[30]

In 2010, Doritos launched for the first time in New Zealand with Nacho Cheese, Cheese Supreme, Salsa, and Salted flavors.

On September 20, 2011, retired Frito-Lay marketing executive Arch West, who was credited for creating Doritos as the first national tortilla chip brand, died in Dallas at age 97[31]. In 1961 when, while on a family vacation near San Diego, he found a snack shack selling fried tortilla chips. It is said that corporate response showed little enthusiasm to the tortilla chip idea, but more marketing research led to the Doritos release.


The plain chips are made of ground corn, vegetable oil, and salt. Other ingredients vary across the flavored chip varieties. Doritos made for the US market generally do not use pork derived animal rennet in the making of the cheese flavorings used on the chips.[32]

  • Nacho Cheese Doritos ingredients (US), in order of percent of product: whole corn, vegetable oil (corn, soybean, and/or sunflower oil), salt, cheddar cheese (milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), maltodextrin, wheat flour, whey, monosodium glutamate, buttermilk solids, romano cheese (part skim cow's milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), whey protein concentrate, onion powder, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, corn flour, disodium phosphate, lactose, natural and artificial flavor, dextrose, tomato powder, spices, lactic acid, artificial color (including Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40), citric acid, sugar, garlic powder, red and green bell pepper powder, sodium caseinate, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, nonfat milk solids, whey protein isolate, corn syrup solids[33]

See also


  1. ^ Arch West obituary, Washington Post, September 26, 2011
  2. ^ a b "PepsiCo's History Timeline". Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  3. ^ a b Collins, Glenn (November 3, 1994). "Pepsico Pushes a Star Performer". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  4. ^ a b Collier, Gene (January 7, 2004). "An expert weighs in on the Dorito case". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA). Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  5. ^ Van Riper, Tom (January 9, 2006). "PepsiCo to Zest Up Doritos Campaign". Forbes. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Collisions page at". Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Doritos' X-13D web page (formerly at
  11. ^ Koski, Genevieve. "Taste Test: Mountain Dew "Quest" Doritos". A.V. Club.,2344/. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  12. ^ "Doritos - The End". Frito Lay Canada. May 5, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Avery Schreiber, 66, Doritos Funnyman". The New York Times. 2002-01-09. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  14. ^ ""Doritos Girl" Ali Landry Scorejgdhdfhs A Three-peat at Super Bowl XXXV in New Doritos Commercial". Archived from the original on 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  15. ^ "Memorable quotes for Wayne's World (IMDB)". Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  16. ^ Harris (1999), p. 112.
  17. ^ Horovitz, Bruce (February 1, 2002). "From zero to hero in 30 seconds flat". USAToday. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  18. ^ Elliott, Stuart (February 6, 2007). "Thanks to the Web, the Scorekeeping on the Super Bowl has just begun". New York Times. Retrieved 2208-11-12. 
  19. ^ Viskowitz, Susan (February 16, 2008). "Super Bowl boosts digital sales for Petty and others". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  20. ^ "Doritos Super Bowl XLIII Commercial: Free Doritos!". YouTube. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  21. ^ little known face is that the crystal ball was originally a "Magic 8 Ball" but Mattell declined permission to reference it's iconic toy in the ad thus the commercial was hastily re-shot using a snowglobe as a crystal ball. vnu_content_id=1003936924&imw=Y "null". 2009-04-16. little known face is that the crystal ball was originally a "Magic 8 Ball" but Mattell declined permission to reference it's iconic toy in the ad thus the commercial was hastily re-shot using a snowglobe as a crystal ball. vnu_content_id=1003936924&imw=Y. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  22. ^ "Doritos Super Bowl XLIII Commercial: New Flavor Pitch". YouTube. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  23. ^ Doritos Ad Contest Raises The Stakes, Bruce Horowitz, USA TODAY, 09-10-09
  24. ^ "Doritos Guru - Talking Toys". YouTube. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  25. ^ "Become the Doritos Guru". 2009-04-05. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  26. ^ Highfield, Roger (2008-03-07). "UK astronomers to broadcast adverts to aliens - Telegraph". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-07-15. [dead link]
  27. ^ "Colbert video from Comedy Central". 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  28. ^ "Doritos still the word for Colbert". Retrieved 2008-03-20. [dead link]
  29. ^ "For the First Time-Ever 'The Colbert Report' Hits the Road - 'The Colbert Report: Dorito's Spicy Sweet Pennsylvania Primary Coverage From Chili-Delphi". Retrieved 2008-04-04. [dead link]
  30. ^ Brown, Davis (8 February 2010). "Doritos wants chip-namers to go viral". Marketer News. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  31. ^ "Arch West, 97, invented Doritos for Frito-Lay". 
  32. ^ [1]
  33. ^ Nacho Cheese Dorito ingredient list at Frito Lay website


  • Harris, Thomas L. (1999). Value-Added Public Relations. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 9780844234120. 
  • Smith, Andrew F. (2006). Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313335273. 
  • Stalk, George; Lachenauer, Rob; Butman, John (2004). Hardball: Are You Playing to Play or Playing to Win?. Harvard Business Press. ISBN 9781591391678. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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