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After about a year of testing, Taco Bell will roll out its Doritos Locos Tacos nationally starting March 8.
The much-buzzed-about item, which features a proprietary nacho cheese-flavored Doritos shell created in partnership with Frito-Lay, will be made a permanent menu item.
The item is a derivative of Taco Bell's most popular, best-selling item, the Crunchy Taco. It includes seasoned beef, shredded lettuce and cheddar cheese.
Ahead of the national launch, Taco Bell is hosting a Doritos Locos Tacos Teaser Campaign, called the "Hometown Tweet-Off," from now through Feb. 20. One Taco Bell fan will win a visit from the Taco Bell Truck serving Doritos Locos Tacos before the national introduction.
The teaser TV spot encourages consumers to tweet about the Doritos Locos Taco using #DoritosLocosTacos #Contest hashtags. The winner, to be announced by Feb. 27, will be based on the most re-tweets. Additional prizes will be awarded to runner-ups.
The launch of Doritos Locos Tacos on March 8 also will be supported by an integrated marketing and advertising campaign including PR, TV, digital, and in-store advertising.
The Doritos Locos Tacos is part of parent company Yum! Brands' initiative to get the chain back into positive sales territory. Executives are expecting a significant uplift from product innovation efforts this year.
"What we think will get Taco Bell back on track is more category innovation and we've proven in test markets that we have exactly that coming. In conjunction with its 50th anniversary, we're reinventing the taco," said Yum! CEO David C. Novak in a recent earnings call.
Taco Bell generates about 60 percent of Yum!'s domestic business.
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