Why Mexican Doritos Taste Different From The American Version

Have you ever tried a familiar brand of food or drink in another country and found that it tasted completely different? Your taste buds aren't deceiving you. Certain brands will sell slightly altered versions of their recipes to suit the tastes of the various regions they are marketed in. For example, in Mexico, Doritos taste slightly different than their American counterparts. Mexican Doritos are said to have a stronger concentration of flavor, with a greater focus on the cheese and jalapeño aspects. 

In other words, Mexican Doritos may have more heat than you'd normally expect. This extra burn probably isn't surprising if you live in Mexico, though. Other popular snacks in the region include Lucas Muecas Chamoy – a sweet and spicy lollipop coated in chili powder — and Vero Mango, a candied mango lollipop, which is also coated in chili powder. Incorporating spice into snacks of all kinds is commonplace in Mexico.

But the more intense flavors aren't the only difference. Another distinction between American and Mexican Doritos is texture. Mexican Doritos are said to be crunchier than the ones in America — and also thicker. The Mexican version more closely resembles chunky homemade tortilla chips, while the American counterpart is flimsier and more brittle. Both kinds of Doritos have their fans, but, in America, Mexican Doritos have developed an almost cult-like following. Luckily, you can find them on Amazon and at international markets and Mexican-focused food stores.

Why are Mexican Doritos different?

Doritos are owned by the Frito-Lay brand, which falls under the umbrella of PepsiCo. Though Doritos take inspiration from Mexican cuisine with their jalapeño spice and dried tortilla design, the chips were first manufactured by PepsiCo in California in 1966. That same year, PepsiCo purchased the Mexican snack company Sabritas to expand its operations south of the border.

Sabritas, founded by Pedro Marcos Noriega in 1943, has long served as one of the primary snack distributors in Mexico. In 1968, the first PepsiCo-owned Sabritas manufacturing plant opened, and the commercialization of the Mexican brand took off. As of 2023, Sabritas remains the manufacturer and distributor of all Frito-Lay offerings in Mexico.

Although the American snacks distributed by Sabritas share the same logo, design, concept, and packaging, Sabritas still adds a little personal flair through the minor tweaking of ingredients to better tailor the chips to a Mexican audience. Other well-known snacks distributed by Sabritas in Mexico include Cheetos, Fritos, and Tostitos. The company still distributes its own unique brands of chips, too, such as Crujitos and Rancheritos.