Sunday, December 16, 2018

At Taco Bell Value is Out ‘Craving Menu’ is In but will Pricing be a Problem

They call it fast food for a reason.  One of those reasons is given its limited menu most fast food retailers can realign, reset, customer relevance with a new slogan, menu or Limited Time Offer faster than other retail fresh food retailers according Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
It was not long ago that Taco Bell promised 20 new $1 menu items, a goal it reached with the Grilled Fiesta Potato Breakfast Burrito, Spicy Tostada and Chicken Mini Quesadilla. Clearly that was a sign to consumers that Price was it’s number one concern according to Johnson.
Now that the economy is humming along it clear that Taco Bell’s Global Chief Brand Officer Marisa Thalberg wants to realign, reset, adding incremental profit with relevance driven by marketing messaging according to Johnson.
Thalberg is going to introduce a new “Cravings Value Menu” with items ranging from $1 single items to $5 boxes resetting the Price, Value, Service equilibrium according to Johnson.  Starting on Dec. 27, the limited time offer consisting of its Grande Burrito for $1 in two varieties: Chicken Enchilada and Three Cheese Nacho.
This is an effort to move Taco Bell from a focus on price to one of product according to Johnson. Thalberg stated   “As a brand that likes to challenge industry norms, we have really sought to rethink what a value menu should be and the conventions of storytelling for it,”
The company plans to elevate its least expensive menu items with national ads featuring what it promises is “a world that is fantastical and surreal” that discusses “value beyond belief.” The ads will be televised nationally starting Dec. 27 and will also be featured on the chain’s social and digital platforms.
The Cravings menu will continue to have $1 items, including the Spicy Potato Soft Taco, Cheesy Bean & Rice Burrito, Beefy Fritos Burrito, Triple Layer Nachos, Cheesy Roll-Up, Spicy Tostada, Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadilla and Beefy Mini Quesadilla, along with other items.  It will also be rolling out more $5 boxes.
How well will it work with Christmas bills coming due in January and a looming trade war?  Well we will just have to wait and see.  I want to thank all of you who have asked about this promotion and it’s timing.
Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization? Email us at: or visit: for more information.

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