By CASSANDRA ARSENAULT
Arch West, the 97-year-old retired Frito-Lay marketing executive who’s credited with creating Doritos, died in Dallas, Tuesday, and his unusual burial is now making headlines.
West’s family reportedly plans to honor his achievement in an unconventional way. Daughter Jana Hacker told the Dallas Morning News that they plan on “tossing Doritos chips in before they put the dirt over the urn,” which carries his remains, inside the ground. The graveside service is scheduled for Oct. 1.
It’s not clear if being buried with the popular chip creation was one of West’s last wishes, but it seems like a surefire way to acknowledge the invention that quickly became one of America’s most popular snacks.
West discovered the legendary snack chip in 1961 during a family trip to San Diego, where he saw a snack shack selling fried tortilla chips. He pitched the idea to chip giant Frito-Lay, but executives were skeptical. That didn’t stop West’s gut instinct that the snack would become an American favorite, so he commissioned marketing research to prove his point.
He was right, of course. Doritos were a hit. They’ve become a leading seller in the snack category, according to Information Resources International. The brand continues to grow internationally, launching new varieties as far away as New Zealand in 2010.
The flavor of the chips that will rest in peace with West have yet to be disclosed. Maybe Taco Flavor, which was the first flavor created? Or Nacho Cheese, the company’s most popular flavor worldwide? Either way, eat a Dorito in West’s honor today.