Taco Bell's breakfast now available in 10 states

Taco Bell has introduced FirstMeal, a new breakfast menu that features 11 unique menu items. The breakfast debuts in 10 western states, including California, Arizona and Colorado.

The daypart's offerings feature co-branded items from Johnsonville, Cinnabon, Tropicana and Seattle's Best Coffee. Individual items range from 99 cents (sausage or bacon and egg burrito) to $2.79 (Grande Skillet Burrito).

To accommodate the new menu, participating restaurants will open their doors and drive-thrus one hour earlier. For most locations, that means 8 or 9 a.m., with breakfast ending at 11 a.m. local time.

"We're excited to bring value and taste to nearly 750 stores and to fans who are familiar with Mexican-inspired breakfast, while seeking the value and taste that only our FirstMeal menu can give them," said Brian Niccol, chief marketing and innovation officer, Taco Bell Corp. "We've partnered with leading breakfast brands that consumers know, love and trust, including Johnsonville Sausage, which has teamed with us to create our signature product, a Sausage and Egg Wrap: a soft flour tortilla filled with savory sausage, fluffy eggs surrounded by melted cheese – all wrapped up and grilled. For those looking for more than a muffin, we feel they've met their morning match."

More Taco Bell locations in the eastern part of the U.S will start carrying FirstMeal in 2013 – and, starting at the end of 2012, the company will sample FirstMeal items alongside Fourthmeal offerings during late-night hours.

"This is a very important launch for our brand. While we're beginning in the west, where people grew up with breakfast burritos, we plan to reach a national audience in the future, becoming a part of their morning routine, and truly opening people's minds and taste buds as they begin to open their eyes and take on the day," Niccol said.

Taco Bell has tested FirstMeal in more than 150 stores in four markets: Bakersfield, Calif., Oklahoma City, Okla., Tucson, Ariz., and Dayton, Ohio.

All participating restaurants will be equipped with full point-of-purchase (POP) advertising, including flutter flags, drive-thru picket signs, window clings and crew buttons. Radio remotes and free giveaways will be included in Taco Bell's initial marketing mix for FirstMeal.

Breakfast generates about $42 billion in annual sales in the restaurant industry, according to market research firm Technomic. It is also the fastest growing daypart in the QSR space.

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