Taco Bell could be hinting at an upcoming addition to its menu with a split picture of a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and a taco. The description of the image posted on the official Taco Bell Facebook page reads, “Anything could happen in 2013.”
The teaser image was uploaded late Wednesday night. In about 16 hours, it has earned more than 89,000 likes, 5,500 comments, and 8,000 shares.
The new menu item would be a follow up to the Mexican-inspired fast food restaurant’s Doritos Locos Taco, which debuted in 2012. Zagat said that the combination corn ship/taco is the bestselling item in Taco Bell history.
The Cool Ranch Dorito taco hasn’t been a secret; Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed openly talked about adding two new Taco Bell dishes in 2013. "The runway for [Doritos Locos Tacos] is massive," the Associated Press quoted Creed as saying during a Dec. 6 presentation, in reference to making more shell flavors available.
The AP noted that along with the Cool Ranch flavor, Taco Bell executives said they plan to introduce a spicy “Flamas” taco on the menu sometime in 2013.
Taco Bell is part of Yum Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), which also owns KFC and Pizza Hut. While the parent company said its fried chicken and pizza chains have been struggling due in part to an economic slowdown in China, Taco Bell remains a solid operation for the company, it said.
Creed last month attributed part of Taco Bell’s success to the Doritos Locos Taco and the new Cantina Bowl. The menu items have helped to rebrand the company -- creating a stronger appeal to its target demographic of young males with the Doritos hybrid, and reaching a healthier audience with what it considers a higher-quality entree -- an attempt to compete against Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG).
Other changes coming to the Taco Bell brand in 2013 Creed said included a new snack menu advertised as "Happier Hour” and new contract terms to encourage franchise expansion.