Taco Bell is bringing back a beloved menu item after a two-year hiatus and petition from fans.
DOJA CAT: I brought back the Mexican pizza, by the way. [INAUDIBLE]
BRAD SMITH: And that was Doja Cat. Yes, that was Doja Cat announcing, during her Coachella performance that Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza is finally making a comeback after a nearly two-year hiatus. It’s the exhibit-esque mash-up, just in time for spring here.
The pimp-my-fast-food cult favorite item was discontinued in 2020 as part of the larger COVID-related cost cutting, causing a massive outrage among Taco Bell’s loyal fans, who filed a petition on, where else, but change.org, gathering nearly 172,000 signatures. The beloved cheesy creation will be officially back on the menu tomorrow, May 19.
Let’s check in on shares of Taco Bell parent company, Yum Brands, very briefly here. Closing basically flat on the day, fractionally higher, just barely, by about 2/10 of a that looks like, but trending lower by about 12% so far this year.
Rachelle, we got to go to you first. Are you going to try this Taco Bell Mexican pizza when it comes out?
RACHELLE AKUFFO: You know, it reminds me of the Jeff Goldblum quote from Jurassic Park. Just because they should, it doesn’t mean you– just because you could doesn’t mean that you should. That’s way too much. Too many layers of stuff, too many bright colors. I’ve literally eaten at a Taco Bell once in my entire life, and I’m good.
But you know what? I love the fact that people rallied behind this and got on board and brought back something that they loved. I’m like, good for you. If you love it, good for you. Enjoy.
– Sign me up, man. I will definitely try that. I’ll see if I could pick you up one today, bring it tomorrow, Brad, on the way to– is there a Taco Bell in our neck of the woods?
BRAD SMITH: Like 14th and 1st, I think.
– If there is, I’ll find it. I, too, haven’t been to Taco Bell in 20 years, but this could be my motivation. So if that’s the food that kind of closes the pandemic, I think the chicken sandwich would be the COVID food item that really defines the era, right? When you think of the last three years, it was all about the chicken sandwich wars. And more broadly speaking, it was about fried foods.
And fried foods are exploding in growth, in particular cheese curds, which one company in Wisconsin, Ellsworth Co-op Creamery says cheese curds up 38% last year, up 24% this year already. We like our fried foods when we are stressed out, apparently.
BRAD SMITH: We do. We lean into that category heavily, in fact. And it’s comfort food at that point in time, just to get us through.
– How about you? You–
BRAD SMITH: Am I trying–
– [INAUDIBLE] the fried foods?
BRAD SMITH: This pimp my mash-up of different fast food creations? Yeah, I’ll try it out.
– You’ll try it out.
BRAD SMITH: Why not? At least once, every time.