NEW YORK - In a move that€™s expected to set up head-to-head competition with Chipotle, Taco Bell is launching its upscale Cantina Bell menu nationwide on July 5, with an ad campaign featuring chef Lorena Garcia to promote the rollout, AdAge reports.
Taco Bell began testing Cantina Bell earlier this year in select markets, positioning it as upscale and fresh, with ingredients such as black beans, fire-roasted corn salsa, cilantro rice, pico de gallo and citrus- and herb-marinated chicken €" items closely associated with Chipotle. However, Cantina Bell prices are lower than Chipotle€™s, with its Cantina Burrito Bowl and Cantina Burrito priced under $5, compared to around $8 for similar entrees at Chipotle.
Taco Bell€™s Cantina Bell menu is an effort to reach more female customers, with Yum Chairman-CEO David Novak commenting that "this is going to extend the breadth of appeal of the brand," and will "make us more mainstream with male and female target audiences."
Novak hinted that more product innovation could be forthcoming. Taco Bell has already confirmed that a Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco will launch later this year. Novak said that with the "reinvention of the taco with Frito Lay, we believe we're at the beginning."