LOUISVILLE, KY -Taco Bell€™s newly launched Doritos-infused Doritos Locos Taco has fueled strong sales for the South of the Border chain, following a nearly yearlong drop in sales, CBS News reports.
While the new product was launched in March €" well into the first quarter €" it was largely responsible for a 6% jump in first quarter sales, and Yum Brands Inc. (parent company of Taco Bell) chief financial officer Rick Carucci predicted even stronger gains for the current quarter.
Some of that will be attributable to the DLT, while the rest will be a reflection of a soon-to-launch Cool Ranch Taco, as well as an expanded breakfast business.
Taco Bell introduced a breakfast menu earlier this year at about 800 of the chain€™s 5,600 U.S. locations and plans to expand the daypart to 200 more stores in the second half of this year. If that expansion goes well, it will roll out breakfast at all of the company€™s U.S. locations.
Additionally, the chain has been testing a Cantina Bell line of upscale food items, which Yum Brands CEO David Novak said is going well.
"We're looking to broaden the appeal of the brand," Novak said. "We think this is going to extend the breadth of the appeal of the brand, make us more mainstream with both male and female target audiences."
Novak said the company€™s long-term strategy is to increase the number of U.S. units to 8,000, a growth that he feels is within reach.
"We think we can be a significant new unit developer in the United States as we improve our unit economics," he said.