Taco Bell unleashes more expensive menu items

A man enters a Taco Bell restaurant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Jeremy Hobson: When I think of Taco Bell, I think of a very different kind of restaurant than Chipotle Mexican Grill. Well that may be about to change. Starting today, Taco Bell is introducing a new gourmet-style Cantina Bell menu.

Marketplace's Adriene Hill reports.


Taco Bell worker: Welcome to Taco Bell, can I help you?

Adriene Hill: Can I get a Doritos Locos Taco Supreme, please?

Worker: Your total will be at the window, thank you.

Hill: My total: less than 2 bucks. But can a restaurant known for its cheap, high-school-boy-enticing eats, attract a different sort of customer with Haas avocado, guacamole and cilantro rice?

RJ Hottovy is an analyst at Morningstar.

RJ Hottovy: I think you can go after wider audience, whether it be an older demographic or a more health conscious demographic.

But he doesn't think we're going to wind up with yoga mat toting women fighting taco-hungry teens to get through the door at Taco Bell.

Darren Tristano is with food-research firm Technomic.

Darren Tristano: They may not attract the Chipotle consumer over from Chipotle burritos…

But...

Tristano: They very much get their customers to move up a rung, spend a little bit more, increase their check average, and benefit the chain overall.

That is assuming their current customers are willing to back away from their Doritos taco.

I'm Adriene Hill for Marketplace.

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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