Cheetos Goes Big Time With Nationwide Launch of Giant Cheetos Snacks

March 31, 2009

Big Taste, Big Fun Drive Introduction of Sized-Up Snacking Sensation


PLANO, Texas - Building on its track record as the most mischievous and playful snack brand in the world – not to mention a rich history of cheesiness – Frito-Lay’s Cheetos brand today announced that April 1, 2009 will mark the launch of one of the BIGGEST innovations to ever come out of the snack food industry – Giant Cheetos snacks.  Created by Chester Cheetah and the absurdly creative Cheetos development team, Giant Cheetos provide the great cheesy taste consumers love, but are roughly the size of golf balls and stand as the perfect expression of the brand’s playful personality.  Available nationwide in Cheese and Flamin’ Hot flavors, the brand anticipates the over-sized snack sensation to be a two-bite-per-cheesy-ball experience for the average consumer, while recognizing that more-evolved snackers, or “big mouths,” will be able to enjoy them in a single chomp.

“The Cheetos brand believes people who lighten up and play more live happier lives,” said Ann Mukherjee, group vice president, marketing, Frito-Lay North America.  “With Giant Cheetos, we’re offering a new snack experience that we hope will inspire fun and laughter, and bring to life the ‘kid in all of us.’”

The launch of Giant Cheetos comes as the brand adjusts its positioning to exclusively target adult consumers, with a focus on providing more play time as a release from everyday life.  In fact, contributing to the product’s development were consumer insights that point to a desire by adults for more fun in their lives and a recognition of the need to lighten up more.

“As we looked at product development for the Cheetos brand, we really wanted to find a way to bring ‘fun’ to the consumer in a unique way that went beyond just a conventional marketing message, and what better way to do that than through the actual product,” said Mukherjee.  “When we came to the idea of creating giant-sized Cheetos snacks, we knew we had a winner just because of the sheer silliness of the concept and we really hope consumers get a kick out of them as much as we have.”

As an added avenue for consumers to lighten up and play more, Cheetos re-launched its website – http://www.cheetos.com/ – earlier this year as virtual online playground of non-traditional “toys” with primary appeal to adult consumers including everything from interactive video games to a Cheetos look-alike analyzer that allows fans to determine which historical figure or iconic object their Cheetos snack resembles, to an “Office Piñata” that can be customized into a desired person and allow users to take out their frustrations without hurting anyone.  In addition, in observance of April being National Humor month, the brand is offering as a public service a series of tips for consumers to enjoy Giant Cheetos and unleash their lighthearted side:

• Use plastic wrap to close off a co-worker’s cubicle.  Then, fill the cubicle up with Giant Cheetos for the cheesiest of ball pits
• With iconic "Cheetos dust," put mustaches on your coworkers' pictures
• Replace your boss' stress ball with a Giant Cheetos ball and watch the fun crumble
• Hold a mini-golf tournament with Giant Cheetos in the office
• See who can juggle the most Giant Cheetos
• See who can eat the most Giant Cheetos in one minute; award that person a trophy reading, "Cheesiest Ball"
• Fill the boss' umbrella with Giant Cheetos and then close it back up.  Next time it gets cloudy, wait for it to rain cheese

Giant Cheetos will be supported by a fully-integrated marketing campaign including print and television advertising as well as product sampling and in-store merchandising.   They are now available nationwide in two different snacking varieties – Cheese and Flamin’ Hot – for $2.89 per bag (7.75 oz) and a smaller single-serve sleeve of five balls (0.635 oz) for $0.59.  Each five-count sleeve contains only 80 calories.

Frito-Lay North America is the $11 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, N.Y. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana.  Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate Web site, www.fritolay.com, and the Snack Chat blog, www.snacks.com.