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Taco Bell Wisely Railed Against Health With the Doritos Taco

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Chances are, your original reaction to the news that Taco Bell (YUM) would be making a taco out of Doritos (PEP) was "Of course!"

How right you were! In the space of 10 weeks, the Doritos Locos Tacos has become the fast-food restaurant's best-selling product launch ever, according to the Orange County Register.

The Doritos taco was a “flavor pairing just waiting to happen,” Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed has said, according to the OC Register. Made from seasoned beef, cheddar cheese, and lettuce in a hard shell made from Nacho Cheese-flavored Doritos, the Doritos Locos Tacos has sold 100 million units since late March. By contrast, it took the McDonald's (MCD) franchise three years to sell 100 million burgers. The Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme adds reduced-fat sour cream and tomatoes to the mix, and the company expect to launch a Cool Ranch-flavored taco soon.

In April, soon after the new taco appeared, Taco Bell noted its same-store sales for the first quarter of 2012 had increased by 6%.

Unlike Burger King, which has struggled to maintain a place somewhere distantly behind McDonald's and Wendy's (WEN) as a burger haven by offering healthy menu items like fruit smoothies and garden salads, Taco Bell has staunchly maintained its space as a late-night run spot that has no intention of weighing down its offerings with nutrients. And unlike Burger King, it never had to elicit cries of stereotyping with an ill-advised commercial featuring Mary J. Blige rhapsodizing about fried chicken wraps to do so.

This is, after all, the restaurant that brought us the Fourth Meal, as well as the Mountain Dew and OJ breakfast drink. And Taco Bell's core customer base clearly doesn't care: Whether the meat in the Doritos tacos is meat or quasi-meat hasn't been, and isn't likely to be, an issue.
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