Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza has proven time and time again to be a significant sales driver for the brand and now the platform may create an even bigger tailwind. The company announced it is testing two new variations of the iconic product, including a Cheesy Jalapeno Mexican Pizza in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and a Triple Crunch Mexican Pizza in Omaha, Nebraska. Both pizzas will be available for a limited time beginning Dec. 22.
According to a news release, the Cheesy Jalapeno Mexican Pizza includes nacho cheese sauce and jalapeno slices and is priced between $4.99 and $5.49 based on market. The Triple Crunch Mexican Pizza includes three layers instead of the traditional two layers, with more beans and beef to fulfill that added layer. It costs $5.99.
The Mexican Pizza was first introduced in 1985 (then called “Pizzazz Pizza”), but was removed from menus in September 2020 amid pandemic-related simplification. The chain brought back the popular menu item as a limited-time offer in May after a social media outcry and petition that garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures. The brand tapped Grammy Award-winning hip hop star Doja Cat and Hall of Famer musician Dolly Parton to promote the product’s return.
That limited-time offering generated an “overwhelmingly positive reaction from customers,” Yum Brands CEO David Gibbs said during the company’s Q2 earnings call, with more than 20 million pizzas sold and a 10% jump in loyalty members on the quarter. The brand brought the item back permanently in September, which contributed to the chain’s 8% system sales growth on the quarter.
During Yum Brands’ Investor Day presentation earlier this week, Taco Bell CEO Mark King joked that the return of the Mexican Pizza “probably the single biggest event in 2022.” He added that the success of the product will continue to provide learnings for the chain’s pipeline of innovation moving forward.
Taco Bell has also announced it is adding two new $2 grilled chicken burritos – Salsa Verde and Chipotle Ranch available beginning Dec. 22 nationwide. Also, the Double Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito is returning for a limited time.
Finally, Taco Bell has added an Electric Strawberry Freeze and will offer a promotional $1 pricing from 2-5 p.m., versus the $2.99 pricing outside of those hours. King this week said the company is working to beef up its lunch (and breakfast) dayparts to better compete with McDonald’s. In doing so, it is looking at beverage innovations, among other opportunities.
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]