Product Development: What’s So Special About the Doritos Locos Taco?

After reading about the conception, planning, and formation of Taco Bell’s newest meal creation, the Doritos Locos Taco, we asked ourselves, what makes this taco so damn popular? The food chain sold over 100 million tacos in the first 70 days alone, and one man reportedly drove 900 miles from New York to Toledo, OH just to sample the snack. Isn’t this just the innards of a regular taco in a new shell? When we looked closer, we realized so much more was happening than a clever combination of two foods. Here are four reasons why the DLT is an exciting approach to new product development and marketing.

1. Equal Branding – As far as we know (and correct us if we’re wrong), the DLT is one of the first examples of two brands combining their products equally for profit and promotion. This isn’t a celebrity sponsorship, a clever new flavor, or one company absorbing another. Both brands are benefitting from the mishmash of their products.

For ecommerce: Analyze your product and see what other products could be adapted to yours. Find ways you can mutually benefit from other, like-minded features.

2. DIY Approach - The developers at Taco Bell took to this project like a couple of Mythbusters. Their first attempt at making the shell was blasting a taco with Doritos cheese using a paint sprayer. It may not have worked, but it was an initial step. It took dozens of prototypes, snags and delicious mistakes to eventually create a shell with the right mix of cheese, crunch and support. But once they found it, it was worth it.

For ecommerce: Hit the ground running. Test out the model at its bare bones and create a reliable product people can get excited about.

3. Burn Red Tape - A huge part of DLT’s success was the hype surrounding it. Rather than delay the release of the taco, the CEOs of both companies decided to forgo a contract and proceed solely on a verbal agreement. They were able to debut sooner and sell those 100 million tacos in the first 70 days.

For ecommerce - Maybe you don’t want to proceed without the proper legal work, but take a look at your product and decide how timely it is. Take advantage of excitement surrounding the product or weather/holiday considerations. That could make a huge difference in sales.

4. Sequels and Reboots - Whole factories were built to accommodate the production of the new special shell, so CEO Greg Creed wasn’t about to pack up anytime soon. Taco Bell has expanded their collaboration with Doritos for a Cool Ranch flavor and is working on a Flamas flavor soon to follow.

For ecommerce - If your product is a success, why stop there? Explore all of your new product’s potential offshoots. If you’re introducing vinyl records to your music store inventory, maybe your customers would be interested in turntables, cleaning kits, record frames and cases. Expand your market as far as is reasonable and profitable. (No one is going to buy DLT flavored gum… or would they?).

Ripen Services:

Spice up your product line with Ripen’s ecommerce development services. Whether it’s a new ecommerce marketing campaign or additional products or services, we guarantee our creative team will cook up something loco.


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