Cool Ranch Doritos tacos: a review

08 Mar

For taco fans (and Doritos fans), March 7 was a long time coming. At long last, Taco Bell finally debuted its new Cool Ranch Doritos Taco Loco at U.S. restaurants, expanding on the big popularity of last year’s Nacho Cheese flavour Doritos tacos.

My friend and I drove down to Buffalo to sample this U.S.-only delicacy. Here’s my video review:

The most mystifying thing about either of the Doritos tacos is that they’re not yet available outside the United States. You’d think that with their big popularity south of the border, parent Yum Brands would be in a hurry to export them and capitalize.

I put in several requests for comment with a Yum representative in Canada, but got no response.

I asked Darren Tristano, executive vice-president of food industry consulting firm Technomic, for his thoughts. Here’s what he said:

It is very difficult for larger chains to roll out programs with new products. Generally they start with a test group, measure success within different demographics and determine whether to proceed with a larger more regional or national roll-out. Once advertising begins, consumers nationwide expect to be able to get the products locally so chains have to be careful. After a national roll-out, they measure results and determine whether to roll it out more globally and brands need to confirm that the supply chain supports the roll-out which can take time to set it up with production and distribution.

Those chains that take care to roll out products with careful attention to detail have the greatest chances of success. In the meantime, social media can create buzz around the idea of the introduction.

Take a look at the Pizza Hut perfume that was awarded to ‘fans’ last year in Canada. This year, it was rolled out to 6 countries and created a huge social media success.


Posted by on March 8, 2013 in taco bell


4 responses to “Cool Ranch Doritos tacos: a review

  1. Justin Amirkhani

    March 8, 2013 at 2:32 am

    Nowak, you’ve outdone yourself this time.

  2. Adrian

    March 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I definitely understand the statement “[o]nce advertising begins, consumers nationwide expect to be able to get the products locally so chains have to be careful”, except it’s missing one thing for us Canadians. That is, we often are bombarded with American advertising, and it gets hard to remember which are available in Canada, and which are American. I still often laugh at loud at Subway commercials advertising five dollar footlongs, since it just doesn’t exist in Canada. And a couple years ago, when I was sick, I saw the Pizza Hut 10$ deal for, I-can’t-remember how many pizzas, and in a sickness-apathy induced brain-fog I was very disappointed to learn that deal was only for the U.S.

    But ultimately I think that products like this taco will need to become more standardized worldwide as social media, mentioned as useful only for minor buzz by the interviewed VP, ends up smacking everyone, everywhere, upside the head with the existence of special products just because American culture and media spreads like a virulent airborne plague.

    Well, actually, either more standardized, or more localized (or both); as individual locations, and other smaller areas like cities, could be able to institute their own local advertising campaigns using local radio/newspaper/television/in-store ads, far more efficiently, with far less wasted hype that leaks out of the intended area and makes potential consumers elsewhere grumpy. Of course, that would be hard in a chain environment, since they like to keep a master control over their products and advertising. And as long as chains save money through standardization they won’t really care if they lose (a little) money, or make (a few) customers angry, or get (some?) moaned phone calls asking about the 10$ pizzas, because of the bloated bureaucratic steps they take to have their products rolled out as close to their ideal as possible.

    Is it any wonder my favourite “chains”, are small companies with a handful of locations?

  3. Marc Venot

    March 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Since you don’t speak with the Queen’s accent and here worse with stuff in the mouth you should add subtitle.

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