Taco Bell took the Mexican Pizza off its menu in 2020 during the height of the covid pandemic. At the time, the chain had decided to simplify its menu because a much higher percentage of orders were delivery and takeout. Mexican Pizza did not make the cut, but it's very possible that the Yum! Brands (YUM) - Get Yum! Brands Inc. Report chain knew it would get a wave of publicity from taking the fan-favorite item from its menu.
It's very likely that the Mexican chain took Mexican Pizza away because it would cause fans of the menu item to push for its return. That's the strategy Coca-Cola (KO) - Get Coca-Cola Company (The) Report has endlessly denied using when it eliminated its classic recipe in favor of "New" Coke only to eventually bring "Classic" Coke back due to popular demand.
In 2022, it's hard to imagine that Taco Bell did not have the removal of Mexican Pizza from its menu and its eventual return planned out from the beginning. What the chain may not have planned for is that high levels of the demand would cause the unthinkable -- the Mexican Pizza has gone away again.
Taco Bell No Longer Sells the Mexican Pizza
The return of the Mexican Pizza has been sort of a cultural event -- like when people waited in long lines for Restaurant Brands International's (QSR) - Get Restaurant Brands International Inc. Report Popeye's Chicken Sandwich or the frenzy Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report created when it launched the Unicorn Frappuccino. Fans of the Taco Bell menu item raced to the chain to eat the item and people who had never had a Mexican Pizza rushed in to try it.
That has led to Taco Bell selling out of the recently-returned favorite. The bad news, is that it's not coming back any time soon, according to a letter to employees which has been posted on social media.
"Because of the incredible love for Mexican Pizza, we have begun selling out across the country. We will communicate this to our fans later this week. The Mexican Pizza will return later this year; you'll hear more from us as that date approaches," the chain shared in the internal communication.
Taco Bell also shared some vague details about the eventual return of the Mexican Pizza on its website.
"We’re working diligently with our restaurants and suppliers to get more back in the hands and stomachs of our biggest fans. You can follow along on this page for the latest details and information, including when we anticipate the Mexican Pizza to return to its permanent residency on the Taco Bell menu," the chain posted.
Taco Bell has also delayed the planned musical on the Mexican Pizza that was written by Dolly Parton. The online debut of the musical had been planned for May 26.
"The show will go on, just not May 26. Getting the chance to create a musical about the countless fans that helped bring back the Mexican Pizza is a story that deserves to be told – so stay tuned for more information on when you can expect to see Mexican Pizza The Musical, complete with the joy and celebratory spirit in which it was originally created," the company added.
What Is the Taco Bell Mexican Pizza?
The Mexican Pizza is essentially a flat, crispy taco, with a few flourishes. First, it uses a flour-based crispy shell (rather than a corn-based one) that's layered with with beans, pizza sauce, seasoned beef, tomatoes and a melted three-cheese blend. You can add sour cream, nacho cheese sauce, or guacamole among other things.
Taco Bell also offers added a vegetarian version of the menu item
"Vegetarian lovers have been among the most vocal and hopeful for the Mexican Pizzas return, as Taco Bell has been a haven for vegetarians thanks to the ability to customize...and is available vegetarian without the seasoned beef," the company shared in a press release.
The chain did note that it does not have a separate prep area for the vegetarian version of the Mexican Pizza.