In the many years I have dedicated myself to creating best-in-class food products and experiences for consumers, branding has always emerged as a critical component. Even in situations where an exciting food product was introduced in a brand agnostic way, a brand has always seemed to emerge. Likewise, when introducing new food products under an established brand, staying true to the promise of the brand was always critical to its success. What’s more, a great brand can become a beacon that will lead toward transformation and disruption.
One case in particular was the marriage of two brands owned by different companies, Doritos and Taco Bell. Both brands shared the same, unapologetic approach to bold, brazen flavor, in addition to the same consumer demographic. During my time at PepsiCo, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to marry those two brands together for the first time in history, resulting in the Doritos Locos Taco. In addition to breaking records in the industry, that particular innovation took the Doritos brand into new channels.
Frito Lay and PepsiCo continued along this path for many years with other brand transformations. The products included Doritos Loaded, Mac and Cheetos, and most recently, Cheetos Popcorn in stadiums and movie theaters.