Doritos Rolls Out Chips in Taco Bell Flavor
Frito-Lay wants a bigger bite of Taco Bell’s popular Doritos Locos Tacos.
The snack food giant plans to roll out its Doritos in a "Taco Bell" flavor as a limited-time product this spring, aiming to capitalize on the popularity of the Doritos-flavored tacos introduced by the fast-food chain last year.
Frito-Lay says it will be the first time since the 1990s that it has offered Doritos branded with the logo of a national restaurant chain.
Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos has been one of the biggest new menu items in recent times, with Taco Bell selling more than 300 million of the tacos with flavored shells since their introduction in March.
They were such a hit that Taco Bell postponed a follow-up Cool Ranch flavor to early this year to make sure there was enough capacity to make the shells. The chain also plans to introduce a taco in "Flamas" flavor, a Doritos variety available only in select regions of the country.
The offerings reflect the unique bonds between Yum Brands Inc., which owns Taco Bell, and PepsiCo Inc., which owns Frito-Lay. PepsiCo spun off Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut more than 15 years ago, but the three chains still serve PepsiCo drinks, and executives collaborate in other ways to boost their respective fortunes.
The idea for the Doritos Locos Tacos, for example, came about in early 2010 when Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed visited Frito-Lay executives in Plano, Texas, to discuss how to celebrate the chain’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2012. Since Frito-Lay didn’t have a production line for the flavored shells at the time, the Doritos seasoning was sprayed onto regular taco shells so executives could get of sense of how they’d taste. Creed said he knew right away it would be a hit.
"You know you’ve got a big idea when you don’t have to explain it," said Creed, who has been with the restaurant chains since they were owned by PepsiCo. Creed noted that the mutual trust between the companies meant the project was based on "a handshake" in the early days.