Taco Bell's Cool Ranch is firing up sales
The latest version of Doritos Tacos Locos is making the chain a bright spot for owner Yum Brands, which has stumbled badly elsewhere.
Shares of the restaurant owner have barely budged this year -- gaining just 2% as the Dow has hit record highs -- amid concerns about its business in China, where worries about contaminated chicken have caused revenue to erode. Yum gets more than half of its sales from China, mainly from its KFC outlets, and recently warned investors that its profits in 2013 would fall because of problems there.
Thanks to the popularity of the Doritos Locos Tacos, Taco Bell posted an 8% gain in U.S. 2012 same-store sales, a key retail metric of sales at locations opened up a year. That's more than double the 3.1% gain McDonald's (MCD) reported and the 3.5% increase seen at Burger King (BKW). The Doritos Locos Tacos is probably one of the most successful fast-food product launches in the last few years.
"Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos have been one of the most anticipated new menu items we've launched, and will be the biggest in our company history," says Rob Poetsch, a Taco Bell spokesman, in an email. "We're pleased with the overwhelmingly positive reaction from our fans, in fact, we've seen twice as many social media conversations in the first few days we launched."
Indeed, one reason for Taco Bell's success is its savvy use of social media. As Nation's Restaurant News noted, the chain made a "surprise announcement" on its Facebook page on Wednesday that the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos would be available one day before its official launch.
Social media can cut both way, though, as Taco Bell quickly found out when some locations didn't have the tacos available. That prompted many disappointed fans to take to the Internet to voice their outrage over this injustice, which affected about 4% of the company's stores.
"I’ve been waiting for this taco a long time and heard the announcement via Facebook and Twitter," writes Brian Terwilliger of Kissimmee, Fla., in an email to Nation's Restaurant News. "Driving around to be denied is outrageous considering the advertisement you guys [Taco Bell] released on this taco."
Taco Bell sprang into action. The company's social media team contacted disgruntled customers and told them where they could find the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos, averting a "crisis." No shortages have been reported.
Jonathan Berr, more of a burrito fan, owns shares of McDonald's. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
It's just like they took the Cool Ranch chips and made them into a taco shell. I mean JUST like that.....and people buy them and eat them just like they were regular tacos.
A friend of mine told me the Department of the Obvious is hiring.....is that like goverment ?
Sure it taste good, but it's a weak shell. It blows up on the first bite.
Hey, bring back the Bell Beefer, now that would also be a hit again.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Tuesday session on a lower note after generally upbeat earnings took the back seat to geopolitical concerns. The S&P 500 (-0.5%) and Nasdaq Composite (-0.1%) ended on their lows, while the Russell 2000 (+0.3%) displayed relative strength.
Once again, market participants were focused on quarterly reports in the early going, but geopolitical worries overshadowed the impact of mostly better than expected earnings. Specifically, equities ... More
More Market News
After enjoying a smooth rise in stock prices since May, investors are about to be hit with another bout of volatility.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'