Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are one of the popular snack options produced by Frito-Lay and released in the early 1990s.
Since their initial release, the snacks have gained a dedicated following of repeat customers.
However, there have been rumors circulating on many blogs, personal social media accounts, and Reddit that say the snack has been discontinued.
Are Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Discontinued?
No, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos has not been discontinued by Frito-Lay.
The company did put a pause on the production of the popular snack in 2020, as stated in a tweet by the company in May.
We have simplified our production to best meet the current overall demand. Because of this, we have temporarily paused the production of Cheetos Crunchy XXTRA Flamin' Hot. We know that’s disappointing, but rest assured, our plans are to start back production as soon as possible!
— Frito-Lay (@Fritolay) May 5, 2020
In order to meet the high demand for certain products, the company stated that they were simplifying production which was going to result in a temporary pause on the production of their Flamin’ Hot Cheetos line.
There are many reasons for the production pause including staff shortages, high demand, and limited supply.
Additionally, with the rise of the Covid19 Pandemic in the United States, many common food ingredients used in manufacturing the company’s products have been more difficult to obtain.
This has limited the production capabilities of many products within the Frito-Lay lineup.
Additionally, in response to the lack of products being delivered to merchants and the high demand for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, retail stores began to experience hoarding-like tendencies from customers who would attempt to buy the snack in bulk whenever it became available on shelves.
This resulted in many retail stores across the country being forced to place a limit on how many of each product a customer could purchase at a time.
This attempt was to help the amount of the product stretch as long as possible while the stores waited on another delivery.
This limitation on the amount of a certain product that could be purchased was not only enforced with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos but it was also seen among a variety of other food items in the United States, including, but not limited to, canned goods, toilet paper, paper towels, and even raw meat.
Customers’ Response To The Apparent Shortage
Many fans of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos took to Twitter to express their frustration and sadness over the product’s lack of availability.
Theres a Hot Cheetos Shortage in the U.S right now. This shortage is mainly because of increased demand and tightening supply. Some stores are putting limitations on how many you can buy. pic.twitter.com/6TST7EbVAG
— SAY CHEESE! 👄🧀 (@SaycheeseDGTL) November 29, 2021
Several news reports and blogs also spoke out on the topic, claiming there was a shortage or that the product was being discontinued entirely.
This likely led to further confusion among consumers who were not sure which media outlet to believe.
Additionally, the Frito-Lay Newsroom has yet to officially release a statement on the topic.
USA Today completed their own fact check and stated in a news report on their website that a source from within Frito-Lay confirmed with them that there were not any plans to discontinue Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Another reputable media company, Reuters, spoke with a member of the Frito-Lay Media Services who reported that Frito-Lay continues to be committed to “making, moving, and selling America’s favorite snacks. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos has not been discontinued.”
Reuters is a reputable news agency made up of journalists dedicated to finding the facts on popular questions or rumors that are circulating.
The company monitors digital platforms, searching for misinformation related to news events of popular subjects.
Their work is guided by three principles: integrity, independence, and freedom.
Frito-Lay’s Response To The Rumors
Chester Cheetah himself responded to a tweet in December 2021, assuring a fan that “Cheetos Flamin’ Hot is not being discontinued.”
There are also many other comments from Frito-Lay on Twitter in response to the rumors.
The company recommends to fans that they check out their website’s “Where to Buy” page to search for merchants selling Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (or other desired products) within their area.
Using the search bar on the webpage, customers can input their city and postal code to find Frito-Lay products in their area.
They can also filter the search by selecting a specific product as well, such as Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, etc.
Frito-Lay’s Newsroom has yet to release a statement on Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
The Newsroom contains the latest press releases, newly updated assets within the company, photos, logos, b-roll video, and more.
The Newsroom also contains Frequently Asked Questions by their customers.
One popular question in the Newsroom is “Why was my favorite snack discontinued?”
Frito-Lay’s response is that there are many reasons for a product to be discontinued.
However, it is usually because the product is not being purchased frequently.
Stores that notice a decrease in demand for a product will stop carrying it in order to make room for new or more popular items.
Frito-Lay takes note of the decrease in demand as well and may determine that it is not worth it to continue producing and distributing the product.
This does not appear to be the case for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
The main cause of the apparent Cheetos shortage, as stated previously, is that the demand is so high and there is a limited supply of ingredients which makes it difficult to manufacture and distribute in a timely manner.
The company has a Contact Us link here where customers can reach out and let them know about a product that they want to return.
The website does not guarantee that filling out this form will bring the product back, but it does state that they share this feedback with their Marketing and Sales team.
Customers can also sign up to receive product news and special offers delivered straight to them, assuring that they will be the first to know about a product’s return.
What Vendors Sell Flamin’ Hot Cheetos?
On Frito-Lay’s website, customers can use the search bar to look for merchants within their city or state that sell the product.
Using this search bar, we searched for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos within three large cities and filtered the search for in-store options only.
St. Paul, Minnesota, zip code 55113, offers the snack in-store at these locations:
- Downtown Smoke Shop
- Peter’s Market
- Lunds & Byerly’s
- Holiday Station
- Garso Mini Mart
- Downtown BP
- Grand Stop
- Fresh Food Market
Los Angeles, California, zip code 90012, offers the snack in-store at these locations:
Las Vegas, Nevada, zip code 89101, offers the snack in-store at these locations:
However, supply is limited. All of the merchants listed above only had one or two options of the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos products in stock.
Some only had a supply of the snack in small, one-ounce bags, rather than family size.
Amazon also has a variety of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos offered on the website that can be ordered in bulk options.
Where Are Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Produced?
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are produced by Frito-Lay, the food division of PepsiCo.
It has its headquarters in Plano, Texas.
PepsiCo, originally Pepsi-Cola, merged with Frito-Lay in 1965 to form the now widely spread company.
There are more than 30 different production facilities spread out throughout the United States and Canada, and over 200 distribution centers as well.
Overall, Frito-Lay is the employer of about 60,000 employees according to their North America Fact Sheet.
In 2018, the company made over $16 billion in revenue.
Frito-Lay has merchandising and distribution facilities throughout multiple states in the United States, such as Maryland, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas, Florida, California, Kansas, Tennessee, Arizona, Utah, Georgia, Virginia, New York, Arkansas, Indiana, California, Wisconsin, Washington, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
Although not all of these plants produce the same products, some specialize in producing just a select few.
The Perry Plant in Georgia is considered to be the largest manufacturing plant that Frito-Lay operates in the United States.
How Healthy Are Flamin’ Hot Cheetos?
You can find specific nutrition information about all Frito-Lay products on their website.
Not all products have the same nutrition facts or ingredients, therefore consumers should check the website or the Nutrition Facts on packages to ensure they are meeting any specific dietary requirements they might have, such as peanut allergens, gluten, or other potential intolerances.
Consumers should also be aware of any ingredients which may affect cultural requirements such as pork.
Products may contain egg, dairy, soy, gluten, nut allergens, or whole grains.
They also may contain MSG and pork enzymes.
A few products are even kosher and vegan.
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos follow these nutrition guides according to Frito-Lay:
- Does not contain eggs
- Does not contain soy
- Does not contain gluten
- No added MSG
- No added pork enzymes
- Not produced on equipment that also produces peanuts or tree nuts
- Contains 8 or more grams of Whole Grains
- Contains Dairy
Products Similar To Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
Frito-Lay has confirmed in many tweet responses on Twitter that the product is only paused.
However, they have not given a timeframe of estimated return.
Therefore, the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos shortage may have customers looking for an alternative that is nearly as tasty and more accessible.
If you are interested in looking for another spicy, crunchy snack option, check out:
- Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho Chips
- Ruffles Flamin’ Hot Chips (Flamin’ Hot Cheddar, Sour Cream)
- Lay’s Flamin’ Hot Chips & Kettle Cooked Flamin’ Hot
- Smartfood Flamin’ Hot Popcorn
- Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Popcorn or Puffs
- Pop Fuegos Popcorn (Takis flavored)
- Takis Fuego
- XXTRA Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
- Chester’s Hot Fries
- Flamin’ Hot Fried Pork Skins
If you are interested in a healthier alternative, check out:
- Cheetos Puffs
- IWon Plant-Based Protein Stix (Spicy Sweet Pepper)
- Peatos (Classic Cheese, Fiery Hot, Ranch)
- Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs (White Cheddar, Sriracha Sunshine, Nacho Vibes)
- Vegan Rob’s Cheddar Puffs
If you are interested in making your own, handcrafted recipes featuring Flamin’ Hot Cheetos or other popular Frito-Lay brand products, check out:
- Cheetos Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Chili Meatballs
- Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Burrito
- Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Mac and Cheese Bites
- Cheetos Marshmallow Treats
- Cheesy Cheetos Turkey Parm
You can find more recipes from Cheetos here.
New Frito-Lay Products
Despite some products being on a production pause, the company continues to try out new products to keep consumers interested.
Some of these include the following recently released products:
- Flamin’ Hot Limon and Enhanced Cool Ranch Doritos
- Lay’s Layers
- Poppables Sea Salt & Vinegar
- Lay’s Kettle Cooked Flamin’ Hot and Fritos Chili Cheese
- Lay’s Cheddar Jalapeno