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Cheetos Brand Going to the Sweet Side

PLANO, Texas — Frito-Lay Inc. will roll out something sweet in February. Just in time for Easter, the company is launching Cheetos Sweetos, a cinnamon sugar puff snack, reported USA Today. This will be the first sweet Cheetos snack in the 67-year-old brand's history.

The limited-time offering is designed to capitalize on two converging consumer trends: a rise in sweet snacking, especially by Millennials, and a growing interest in special holiday offerings from consumers' favorite brands, according to the report.

"Consumers are seeking more novelty and the snack makers know it," said Tom Vierhile, innovation insights editor at DataMonitor Consumer. Millennials in particular are open to unconventional snacks and snacking occasions, he added.

Frito-Lay previously tested unusual snacks and sweet flavors outside the United States, but is now giving such products a chance domestically as well, as it did with the launch of Loaded Doritos in 7-Eleven stores last summer.

"This is not a short-term strategy," stated Jeff Klein, vice president of brand marketing for Frito-Lay North America. "We are looking for growth outside of the cheese puff segment."

One seven-ounce bag of Cheetos Sweetos will retail for $3.49 and be sold in a bag with Easter-themed colors. Frito-Lay is investigating other sweet Cheetos flavors, but the company declined to provide details.

Despite the change in the Cheetos flavor profile, one thing will remain the same with Sweetos.

"We believe the orange Cheetos dust that comes off on your fingers is an important part of the Cheetos eating experience — for some, it's the best part," Klein said. "Absolutely there will be a similar playful experience when eating Sweetos."

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