O, Canada…I Think You’ve Been Cheated By…

Intending no disrespect to Canada’s national anthem which begins, “O, Canada…”

But O, Canada – I think you’ve been cheated.

Here’s the story:

In early October the Frito Lay Company, maker of these:

Announced in a news release:

Frito Lay was proudly unveiling a “statue to commemorate Cheetle, the official term for the brand’s orange dust”:

If you’re not a Cheetos consumer, you may be wondering about the phrase “the brand’s orange dust.”  Cheetos are a finger food, and the orange dust is a powdery substance that sticks to your fingers, making them look like this:

The news release describes the statue as an “almost-17-foot-tall, impressive homage to Canadians’ cheesy, orange-dusted fingertips” and…

“…is of a hand proudly holding a Cheetos Puffs snack, with its Cheetle-dipped fingers boldly on show…”

Closer inspection reveals…

That the hand missing two fingers.

I don’t know why two fingers are missing.  Maybe Frito Lay was facing budget restraints?  Or dealing with supply chain issues?  Or…

But that isn’t the cheating part.  Stay with me, here.

If you’re wondering about the reference to “Canadians’ cheesy, orange-dusted fingertips,” the statue unveiling took place in Cheadle, described in this article by the venerable Food & Wine magazine…

As “a town of around 100 people…about 30 miles east of Calgary in south-central Alberta, Canada…” 

Now, not to disparage the town of Cheadle in any way – I’m sure it’s a nice place, and I found this nice picture online:

But why would Frito Lay choose such a small place to unveil such a big statue?

The news release explains:

“The Cheetos brand, rooted in mischievous fun, was on the lookout for the perfect home for its statue until it came across a hamlet in Alberta with a kindred name, Cheadle.  (What could be more perfect?)”

Well, I’m stumped.

Seriously – what could be more perfect?

World peace?  An end to the pandemic?  Marjorie Taylor Greene deciding to become a cloistered nun?

And also seriously – don’t book your airline tickets for Cheadle, Alberta, Canada because, says this article:

“…the unique piece of art won’t stay in Cheadle forever, according to the news release.  Cheadle residents and visitors can check out the big, cheesy fingers until November 4.  Then, the monument will embark on a tour of other locations in Canada.”

And in my opinion, the “around 100 people” of Cheadle should say “good riddance” because the Frito Lay orange fingers statue was there under false pretenses.

Here’s the cheating part.

The Frito Lay news release defined “Cheetle” as:

“…the official term for the brand’s orange dust.”

The news release also says,

“‘Cheetos fans have always known that the delicious, cheesy dust on their fingertips is an unmistakably delicious part of the Cheetos experience, but now it officially has a name:  Cheetle,’ said Lisa Allie, Senior Marketing Director, PepsiCo Foods Canada.”

Lisa, Lisa, Lisa.

How can you claim that the “cheesy dust” now “officially has a name:  Cheetle” when this story:

Proclaimed that very same thing in January 2020?

“‘Cheetle is defined as ‘that orange and red dust symbolic of true Cheetos fandom,’ according to a news release from Frito Lay and spokesman Chester Cheetah.”

And this article, also from January 2020, said the same:

“…‘Cheetle’ is by no means a new term.  A Frito-Lay rep told HuffPost the company trademarked the term with that particular spelling 10 years ago.

“In addition, brand mascot Chester Cheetah used ‘Cheetle’ as a hashtag in 2015…and the term (also spelled ‘cheedle’) was added to the Urban Dictionary in 2005…”

And Lisa at Frito Lay, your very own news release from January 2020:


“Now, ‘Cheetle,’ as the orange and red dust symbolic of true Cheetos fandom is officially known, is taking over a new snack for Cheetos fans to enjoy in the new year:  popcorn.”

You see?

Frito Lay said that “Cheetle” was “officially known” close to three years ago, yet they had the nerve – the unmitigated gall – to tell the residents of Cheadle, Alberta, Canada that the orange dust “now officially” had a name.

This, as well as the almost-17-foot-tall statue, was the impetus for all the Cheetos/Cheetle/Cheadle excitement.

Well, I call it…




I’ve searched the Frito Lay website as to where they were going to display the statue after the Canada tour, but they’re not saying.

But if they think they’re going to bring this…

…to the U.S. and try to flimflam us – in, say, Cheadle, Montana:

Or at Cheadle Lake in Oregon:

Or at actor Don Cheadle’s former home in California:

Well, Frito Lay, think again.

Because when you get to the U.S./Canada border…

We’ll be ready:

P.S.:  If you’re noticing less Cheetos in the bag, and you’re concerned about a reliable, ongoing source of Cheetle fingers…

Worry no more. 

PepsiCo, parent company of Frito Lay and maker of all 21 types of Cheetos, was mentioned in this recent article:

“In mid-October, PepsiCo, whose prices for its drinks and chips were up 17 percent in the latest quarter from year-earlier levels, reported that its third-quarter profit grew more than 20 percent.”

Here’s one reason why PepsiCo’s profits rose 17 percent in one year:

“…if you buy a bag of Doritos, expect about five fewer chips.  Frito-Lay reportedly confirmed that they dropped the weight of bags from 9.75 ounces to 9.25 ounces.  ‘Inflation is hitting everyone,’ a spokesperson told Quartz.  ‘We took just a little bit out of the bag so we can give you the same price and you can keep enjoying your chips.’”

The Doritos bags look the same and the price is the same:

You’re just getting more air and less Doritos.

And rest assured, if PepsiCo is doing this with Doritos, it’s doing this with all its snack foods including 21 types of Cheetos.

But that’s OK, because everyone’s paycheck has gone up 17 percent from a year ago.


Hello?  Anyone out there?

I’ll close with offering my own statue of a giant hand, a 16.5-foot response to PepsiCo and their shrinkflation practices they thought we consumers would be too stupid to notice:

My giant hand statue is currently on loan to Milan, Italy where it resides in the Piazza Affari, the square in Milan where the Italian stock exchange has its headquarters.

But I’m going to bring it back to the U.S. and loan it to PepsiCo so they can install it at their global headquarters in Harrison, NY.

Looks nice there, don’t you think?

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