Doritos Locos Tacos

On March 8th, Taco Bell and Doritos will launch the much-hyped Doritos Locos Tacos at the more than 5,600 Taco Bell locations nationwide. The Doritos Locos Tacos will feature Taco Bell’s standard taco filling on the inside and the signature neon-orange Nacho Cheese Doritos taco shell on the outside.

In anticipation of the launch, which both companies expect will achieve record sales to the tune of some 60 million shells (Yum Brands, Taco Bell’s parent company has built four dedicated factory lines specifically for making the specialty shells), the Taco Bell website features a clock counting down the seconds until the product launches, and there’s a companion Twitter contest running that will give the account holder with the most Twitter retweets about the new product a truck fully stocked with the Locos Tacos.

Much is riding on this product launch for both brands: Taco Bell is struggling to regain sales lost after being named as the source of a Salmonella outbreak in which at least 70 people were sickened in more than ten states earlier this year. The fast Mexican food chain has also been rebuilding its reputation after a lawsuit last year accused the chain of selling taco meat that was mostly made up of filler ingredients, including preservatives, artificial colors, flavors and silicon dioxide—better known as sand. The lawsuit was reportedly responsible for a 2 percent slide is sales for the nation’s largest Mexican  chain.

And Doritos isn’t in the best position either as efforts like Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign and The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 have moved many processed snack foods like Doritos out of school vending machines and lunch programs. Efforts to make fresh, healthy food more accessible are also being geared towards adults and families with the roll out of the recent upgrade to the food pyramid — MyPlate — recommending more fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: Taco Bell