It is perhaps the greatest fast food innovation since the sesame seed bun, and now it’s setting records.
Taco Bell divulged late last week that it sold more than 100 million Doritos Locos Tacos — that brilliant concoction of normal taco trimmings within a giant Nacho Cheese Dorito chip — in the product’s first ten weeks on the national market. This makes the DLT (as it’s reportedly known in Taco Bell circles) the most popular new product the company has ever released.
Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch told the Orange County Register that the company’s previous big hit, the Crunch Wrap Supreme of 2005, “has been dethroned” by the Doritos Locos Tacos. This development, however, should not come as a surprise to watchers of the fast food industry — the taco’s March 8 release saw a massive media campaign and Taco Bell’s “biggest product introduction in history.”
The DLT reportedly began when Greg Creed, the President and CEO of Taco Bell Corp., tasked his research team to craft the “industry’s next big thing.” And after trying the Dorito-encased prototype, he concluded that the company was onto something special.
“It was an idea so simple and brilliant … a flavor pairing just waiting to happen,” he told Restaurant magazine. “Taco Bell founder Glen Bell has been recognized for his ‘Recipes for Success.’ At the top of that list: the best ideas often are the most simple.”
The Register put the DTL’s feat in the proper context:
To put some perspective on the 100 million tacos sold, Taco Bell notes that McDonald’s sold its first 100 million burgers in 1958 – 18 years after the first McDonald’s burger stand opened, and three years after Ray Kroc started his first McDonald’s franchise.
And in the wake of Taco Bell’s Dorito-infused success, another franchise is looking to get in on the action. Subway sandwich shops in Nashville, TN are testing out Doritos nachos (called “Subway Nachos”) as a new menu item.