Some exciting and unexpected service journalism for your Cyber Monday: Holiday shopping has never been easy, especially when it comes for picking out gifts for people who like Cheetos. But that's all changed with the advent of the Cheetos Store and the release of a Cheetos Luxury Holiday Book.
You heard right. Cheetos are all the rage this holiday season. The Cheetos Store launched the Friday before Thanksgiving, yet I was too mired in festivities to make sense of what seemed like a nonsensical press release that moseyed its way into my inbox. Other members of food media have covered this Cheetos store with careful bemusement, inexplicably tiptoeing around what is, to me, an obvious question: uhh, is this a joke? I came to the office today determined to harangue the Cheetos publicist I’d been in contact with for answers to my queries. What follows is a transcript of my brief correspondence with a Frito-Lay representative in search of answers to this wringer, edited for clarity.
ME: I'm told that a few of the items in the Cheetos Store have sold out. How fast did they actually sell out?
PUBLICIST: The Chester Cheetah’s Lounge Paw [real item] and the Flamin’ Hot Pants [also real] were the first items to sell out and they sold out in a matter of days. Additional items, including the Chestora Earrings and Ring set, the Purrfect Onesies, the Chester Cheetah bathing brief and the Big Cat Nap Sack & Nap Cap were also fan favorites and sold out in just about a week!
ME: Who is your ideal customer?
PUBLICIST: The Cheetos brand is a family fun brand and the Cheetos Store is intended for the ultimate Cheetos fan. We’re hoping that through the Cheetos Store, fans can not only enjoy eating our snacks, but can also gift keepsakes that bring that fun, gutsy personality to life for the holidays.
ME: Have you gotten a lot of questions about whether or not this is a joke?
PUBLICIST: The Cheetos Store is a real online store for the holiday season, inspired by Chester Cheetah’s “paw-manship” and exquisite tastes. The items are great options for the Cheetos fan in your life, or for someone who already seems to have everything.
These answered only emboldened my determination to buy something from the store while I still could, so I took a trip to Cheetos Store online shortly after this exchange. To my dismay, some of the items I most coveted—namely, the $20,000 Eye of the Cheetah gold ring and earring set—were no longer in stock. But the store's remaining offerings are nothing to sneeze at. I've leafed through the digital catalog. Let's take a look at what's left.
DANGEROUSLY SILKY SCARF, $54.00
Who wouldn’t want this number in their winter wardrobe? Especially one so…dangerous? Let it caress the nape of your neck, your back; wear it any way you’d like.
CHESTER CHEETAH’S OVEN PAW, $11.99
Ouch! That's the sound of you, probably, if you're cooking up a storm but don't have this baby in your possession. What, did you think I’d miss this one? I understand that we’re a site with a community of home cooks, so it must follow that this item's a must-have for anyone's kitchen. Don’t graze your finger. Protect it with a blazing orange mitt. Keep your paws grimeless and unscathed. A perfect way to enliven a sterile kitchen.
CHESTER CHEETAH’S HIGH TOP SLIPPERS, $29.99
Clean white kicks are all the rage these days—a must have for anyone's shoe closet. But they've started to feel a little rote. Boring. Quotidian. Why not spice the pristine white shoe up with a little accent of orange on the shoe tongue? It's the Stan Smith for the Cheetos set. Gorgeous, sleek—so you.
CHEETEAU PERFUME, $18.99
Okay, cupid—what’s that smell? That odor? Someone got a hot date tonight? Bet it's you, the person who's doused yourself in this scent "from hand-extracted cheese oils taken from only the rarest Cheetos®."
CHESTER CHEETAH’S CHEESY CUFFS, $69.00
Now this one here’s for a real man about town, looking to impress a certain special someone on a night out. Oh, what, these? he can laugh, inspecting his cuffs. Yeah. They’re from the Cheetos store.
TOILET PAW-PER, $7.99
Quilted Northern? Angel Soft? Scott? Um, excuse me? Who needs those store-bought brands when you can decorate your loo with a blazing orange roll of Cheetos toilet paper? “Toilet Paw-per can elegantly accentuate any outfit, whether as a pocket square, neck scarf or even a trendy wrist-tie," the Cheetos Store site justifies, ably making the case for the use of this product outside the lavatory. Versatile!
COLOUR DE CHEETOS® BRONZER, $11.99
I’ve never used makeup, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Why not “Shine Like The Sun With A Vibrant Cheetah Glow” as the canister politely, but forcefully, suggests? Live a little. Let me know how it goes.
Shop the Story
Well, I'm undecided. Would you buy any of this, for yourself or a loved one? An enemy? Let me know in the comments.
Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
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Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.