Flamin' Hot Is Getting A Makeover

The Flamin' Hot category of chip flavors is its own brand now.

The Flamin' Hot lineup of products is so popular that PepsiCo, owner of Frito-Lay, has announced that it's spinning off Flamin' Hot as its very own brand. Along with the news that Flamin' Hot would be its own category of product (rather than a subvariety of Cheetos that occasionally gets licensed out elsewhere), the company also announced that the entire portfolio, which includes more than 25 different products from snacks to mac and cheese, will now sport brand-new packaging to catch your eye on store shelves.

Black is the new Flamin’ Hot

The first snacks to bear the new packaging are the Flamin' Hot varieties of Doritos, Funyuns, Fritos, and Cheetos. The first thing you might notice is that black, not red, plays a key role in the color scheme; the front of every new bag sports a wide swath of black comprising about half to two-thirds of its real estate.

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"The black backdrop was purposefully selected to play into the edgy attitudes that brand fans demonstrate daily," Tina Mahal, senior vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay North America, tells The Takeout. "It also helps the brand stand out in-aisle where black is currently lacking."

It's been a while since I've heard of a brand refer to "edginess" as a selling point. And though I was mildly skeptical of that statement at first, as someone who's at the grocery store very frequently, I'm realizing that black really is curiously lacking in many of the major snack brands' packaging. The snack aisle is typically an assault of color; if I had five seconds to blurt out chip brands that had black packaging, I'd mention Terra and Krunchers, and that's all I can think of offhand.

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"The redesign has been years in the making, and the brand is committed to re-introducing Flamin' Hot as an equal brand partner—and its own distinct packaging is a perfect step to capture consumers and create even more fans," Mahal noted.

Because Flamin' Hot is its own brand now, that means you won't see disparate packaging styles anymore once everything's gotten its wardrobe refresh. And this redesign, like many corporate plans, has been years in the making, says the brand. It's hoping that current fans will always return, and new ones will begin reaching for the black bags whose contents stain their fingertips red.

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