Doritos inventor Arch West dies, will be buried with chips
When Arch West, the man credited with inventing Doritos, is buried on Oct. 1, he will be joined by a sprinkling of the bright orange chips that have become a cheesy, tangy, American institution.
His daughter, Jana Hacker of Allen, Texas, told the Dallas Morning News that the family plans on "tossing Doritos chips in before they put the dirt over the urn."
West, who was 97 when he died of natural causes last week, was a former Frito-Lay executive. He reportedly came up with the idea of Doritos when he was on vacation with his family in Mexico and came upon a snack shack selling fried tortilla chips.
The Dallas Morning News reports that Frito-Lay officials were not too impressed with the idea, but they rolled out the chips after consumer testing proved positive. Doritos were first introduced in Southern California in 1964, according to a Frito-Lay spokesperson; Doritos Toasted Corn launched nationally in 1967.
By the 1970s, Doritos was one of the best-selling chips in the Frito-Lay arsenal, but the chips that will accompany West to his grave are quite different from those the company released more than 40 years ago.
Doritos were given a big overhaul in 1995, when Frito-Lay made them 20% larger and 15% thinner. Frito-Lay also got rid of the sharp angles on the chip, giving it rounded corners.
The company has continued to tinker with the chips. There have been more than three dozen flavors of Doritos since the product's national launch. Also, the company eliminated trans fats from the chips several years ago.
Still, the chips are hardly healthy -- a small bag has 260 calories, 120 of them from fat, and 360 milligrams of sodium.
But then, none of that can hurt West.
-- Deborah Netburn
Image: Doritos. Credit: Deborah Netburn