Taco Bell milestone: $1 billion in Doritos Locos sold
The stunning success at Yum Brands' chain reflects one of the biggest turnarounds in the industry.
A fast-food marriage made in heaven, or yet another sign of the apocalypse?
Either way, Taco Bell recently reached a remarkable milestone, with sales for its Doritos Locos Tacos -- which were launched in March of 2012 -- passing the $1 billion mark.
Taco Bell, owned by Yum Brands (YUM), partnered with Doritos, which is owned by Frito Lay, a division of PepsiCo (PEP), to come up with a meat-filled taco wrapped in a Doritos nacho cheese shell, complete with the snack food's trademark: its get-into-everything, orange-tinted powdered cheese.
"It has been the biggest launch in Taco Bell history," Greg Creed, company CEO, told the Daily Beast this past March. "Last year, we added 15,000 people to handle the growth."
The insanely popular item uses Doritos packaging when served, and is part of Taco Bell's successful "Fourth Meal" ad campaign -- geared at hungry snackers (or, as the Huffington Post snarked, young stoners with the late-night munchies) out on the town.
Even the venerable New York Times has taken notice of the Doritos Locos phenomenon --
with a video graphic explaining how the snack has been scientifically engineered to "target taste buds" and make the consumer not only enjoy the eating experience but crave more after they're done.
"What these are trying to do is excite every stinking taste bud receptor you have in your mouth," food scientist Steven A. Witherly told The Times.
Taco Bell's triumph is certainly welcome news for Yum Brands, which earlier this month reported a disappointing third-quarter performance.
In a press statement, Yum chairman and CEO David C. Novak pointed to a "slower-than-expected" recovery at the corporation's crucial KFC operations in China -- which have been hit hard by a sales drop following both concerns over bird flu spreading in Asia and reports that some of KFC's Chinese suppliers had chemical residues in their chickens.
And in that same statement Novak pointed out with pride that Taco Bell has “produced seven consecutive quarters of positive same-store sales growth,” which was highly digestible news for investors.
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I keep getting half empty tacos that are higher priced every time I go there.
So when is Taco Bell going to start using real ground beef instead of a meat product?
Those things are like crack, if it were made with pink slime. Have one, want more!
Don't knock if you haven't tried it.
It's the sauce that does it, HOT sauce!
Of course it doesn't come close to the yummy goodness
of a glass of tepid soy milk!
And another thing: what have you got against dog food anyway!
You have never gone hungry, have you?
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John Stumpf acknowledges that growth has been slow, but he says he's still optimistic.
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