In one of the most loosely held menu secrets of the year, Taco Bell on Tuesday revealed the third flavor in its popular Doritos Locos Tacos menu line: Fiery.
The Irvine, Calif.-based division of Yum! Brands Inc. said the follow-up to the Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco flavors would be available nationwide on Aug. 22. The company will be offering customers chances to taste them earlier through hints on its social media channels like Twitter and Vine.
The Fiery DLT’s shell is a crunchy red with spicy chili and a hint of lime flavor. Prices will be $1.39 for regular (170 calories and 10 grams of fat) and $1.69 for a supreme (200 calories and 12 grams of fat), the company said.
Niccol said Taco Bell worked with Frito-Lay to have the newest shell mirror the flavors of regional Doritos chips, like Flamas, to create the Fiery DLT.
The company said the Fiery DLT launch will be supported by television, in-store point-of-purchase materials and radio advertising, staring Aug. 25, as well as the digital and social media activity already underway. In recent weeks, Taco Bell has built the mystery around the latest DLT flavor by throwing out hints to bloggers and on social media.
“Launching the first two Doritos Locos Tacos were obvious: Nacho Cheese is the top-selling Doritos flavor and our fans asked us for Cool Ranch,” Brian Niccol, president of Taco Bell, said in prepared remarks. “For the third DLT, we heard our customers as they told us they wanted something spicy and with flavor.”
The Doritos platform, which includes 123 flavors worldwide, provides a long runway for Taco Bell to expand the DLT platform beyond the third Fiery DLT introduction, Taco Bell chief executive Greg Creed has said.
The quick-service chain has sold more than 600 million Doritos Locos Tacos since the item first was introduced in March 2012. In the second quarter alone, Taco Bell sold 100 million Doritos Locos Tacos, and Carucci said the platform continues to be one of the most successful new-product launches in history.
In July, Yum Brands president Rick Carucci told analysts that Doritos Locos Tacos sales fueled a 2-percent same-store sales increase for Taco Bell in second quarter. That lapped a 13-percent gain a year ago in the wake of the introduction of the first flavor, Nacho Cheese.
A division of Louisville, Ky.-based Yum Brands Inc., the 6,000-unit Taco Bell chain is aiming to double its sales over the next decade, from $7 billion to $14 billion.