I was hoping that eating a Doritos flavored taco would inspire a few grafs of humorous prose, but instead it just spurred sorrow. Now, sitting at my desk after enduring my arterial assault, I feel depressed. I won't call Taco Bell's creation good or bad. It tastes exactly like what you'd expect: An ice cream scoop of processed meat stuffed into a giant nacho cheese Doritos shaped like a taco shell.
The whole mess is stuffed into cardboard sleeve covered in social media touch points for Facebook and Twitter. Frito-Lay's logo is stamped on it too. You can almost see the desperate board meeting where a bunch of suits got together to talk about sales, growth margins and market synergy.
That's how the Doritos Locos Taco came about. It was invented in an office like the one I'm sitting in now and that creation says a lot about the portion of our food system that serves millions of Americans every day.
The Doritos Locos Taco isn't the only attempt Taco Bell has garnered to lash out against competing fast food new-comers like Chipotle. They recently created a new breakfast menu (they had one in the '90s and it failed then too), they've tried Cantina tacos (a bastardized version of Mexican street tacos, which failed) and they're preparing to roll out a larger Cantina menu meant to mimic Chipotle's offering at a lower cost. I'm going to guess that effort fails as well.
Sales at Taco Bells have been slumping for some time. CFO Rick Carucci reported that a sales decline, which started in response to a lawsuit over that terrible beef, had continued into last fall. The "seasoned beef" has such a bad rap it needs its own PR campaign to try and prove it doesn't suck, yet it still does.
Recent numbers show a deepening trend for Taco Bell's sales. And while I'm sure everyone at YUM Inc. (the company that owns Taco Bell) has their thinking caps on, I wish they'd pay me a million dollars to teach them the simplest path to profitability.
Focus on making food that tastes good.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.