Doritos taco mastermind was never paid for his idea

For years, Todd Mills pushed Frito-Lay to make taco shells from Doritos. He died from a brain tumor on Thanksgiving.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 4, 2013 3:47PM
By Ashley Lutz, Business Insider

The original innovator of the Doritos Locos Taco has tragically died from a brain tumor. 

Todd Mills, 41, never made any money from his multimillion-dollar idea, his wife, Ginger, told USA Today


Instead, Mills was just happy to have his "cool idea" come true, Ginger told the paper.

Mills got the idea for tacos made with a Dorito shell because he often used the chips to make taco salads. 


He wrote a letter to Frito-Lay (PEP) pitching his idea, but the company declined, Mills' wife said. Undaunted, Mills started a Facebook movement in 2009 which eventually gained thousands of followers. 


In 2012, Taco Bell, owned by Yum Brands (YUM), flew Mills to a test kitchen to try the product for the first time. Credit: © Taco Shells made from Doritos Movement via Facebook
Caption: Doritos Locos Tacos visionary Todd Mills


Taco Bell called Mills (pictured) a "true friend" of the company. It also donated $1,000 toward his medical costs. 


Taco Bell told The Huffington Post earlier this year that it had sold more than $1 billion worth of Doritos Locos Tacos. 


Mills' best friend told USA Today that his friend didn't care about potentially profiting from the idea. 


"Todd being Todd, he never asked for anything," the friend told the paper. "He said, 'I just want my tacos.'"


His friends have started a memorial Facebook page called "Tacos for Todd."


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Tags: PEPYUM
237Comments
Dec 4, 2013 5:03PM
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A billion in sales and they can't afford to throw the family a couple million or something? Frito-Lay...Methinks thou art  sh*theads!
Dec 4, 2013 5:11PM
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$1000.00. Really? How pathetic. Pay up!!
Dec 4, 2013 5:21PM
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I think we should boycott Taco Bell and Frito-Lay until they pay up.
Dec 4, 2013 4:54PM
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How aboutalot of money for his dr bills and his family,****s.

Dec 4, 2013 5:21PM
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Taco Bell called Mills a "true friend" of the company. They also donated $1,000 toward his medical costs

From a BIG CORPORATION, wow! How about something more beneficial like I don't know.... some sort of late bonus for his idea. I mean if it kicked up profits, WTF not?!??!?!
Dec 4, 2013 5:24PM
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I think the YUM group needs to make things right and pony up some cash to his wife
Dec 4, 2013 5:22PM
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I'd hate to have to quit buying Frito-Lay products, but come on now guys, have a heart.
Dec 4, 2013 5:44PM
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TACO HELL. and FRITO NAY should be ashamed of themselves. I gave more to my friend who passed away.. And i'm among the working  fools. THEY CAN SUCK IT.. NEVER WILL I BUY AGAIN!!! SERIOUSLY......

Dec 4, 2013 5:28PM
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OH WHOOPY!!! They gave a $1000 dollars to his medical bills.. I hope he never went to the doctor. or had to be buried. This Is ludicrous .- I have to go scratch my balls now . Because my brain can't understand the reason they are so cheap!!!
Dec 4, 2013 5:35PM
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What a worthless company. I am a very conservative person. Man through his idea made the company millions. If he was a executive he would receive a bonus and probably a promotion. Knock another company off my list I will afford..
Dec 4, 2013 5:11PM
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Typical corporate Amerika! Dewey cheatum and how,It just keeps getting worse!
Dec 4, 2013 6:10PM
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I was going to say something but everyone on here has already said it, pay the man's family. Hey Taco Bell, we are watching how you handle this now that it is out in the open how you screwed this guy. Friend in deed, well now he has died and I am sure that huge gift of $1,000. to help his treatments really went far, what an insult. Do the right thing and pay his family what you would have had to under a normal, truthful deal that nets you over 1 billion. IF YOU DO NOT I CAN SEE HERE THAT I AM NOT ALONE WHEN I SAY "GOODBYE"!!! YOU SUCK!!!


Dec 4, 2013 6:12PM
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Taco Bell and parent Yum! Brands, Inc. truly stink. "Donating" $1000 was not only a drop in the bucket for Yum! and a huge insult, it was a totally deductible gesture while not paying Todd Mills for his innovation. People who "invent" things for corporations know that rewards for such accomplishments may range from a $50 patent bonus to a lucrative percentage. In the least, the company could have offered to pay more for medical costs (an important gesture, still deductible!) or some kind of royalty for Mills' family. The millennium continues to be defined by corporate greed (and) hateful war.
Dec 4, 2013 6:07PM
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They should give his family $1 million..[.Friend of the Company.]...HOGWASH
Dec 4, 2013 5:40PM
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Had he been an employee of the company, he wouldn't receive any profits either.  Just a paycheck for his time worked. 

 

Lesson learned here kids is to patent your ideas.

 

It is bad business though because now people will be less likely to give them consumer feedback.

Dec 4, 2013 6:13PM
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they made billions off his idea and yet he got  nothing at all. not even a royalty they should at least  offer to pay for the guys funneral and maybe some thing for his family
Dec 4, 2013 6:19PM
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Wow Taco Bell gave Todd's family $1000 toward his medical expenses and called him a "true friend." Sort of makes your heart quiver doesn't it? Corporate greed at its best. I think we should have a boycott of Taco Bell restaurants.They are not their customer's "true friends." They are corporate America's "best friends."
Dec 4, 2013 6:21PM
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WOW THAT COMPANY SHOULD GET SUED!! NEVER BUYING FROM THOSE BASTARDS AGAIN!!
Dec 4, 2013 6:09PM
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Why has he not asked for something?? Don't let them get away with this.....
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