Skip to main content

Taco Bell Makes a Surprising Addition to its Menu

The fast-food chain has gone someplace you wouldn't expect (or maybe nothing surprises you).

Taco Bell has no boundaries. The Yum! Brands (YUM) fast-food chain has been willing to put anything and everything on its menu.

When the chain started it was built around tacos and burritos at affordable price points. Now, the chain has sold everything from chicken wings to ice cream and has expanded its menu to breakfast.

This isn't a chain that asks, "does the make sense at a traditional Mexican fast-food chain?" Instead, the company's mantra appears to be something closer to "will our audience want to eat that."

That gives the fast-food giant an awful lot of freedom when it comes to its menu and it's going to use that liberally. Now, it has a new offering on its beverage menu that's probably not going to keep anyone from going to Starbucks (SBUX) , but it might keep them away from the other fast-food chains selling the morning meal.

A coffee cup sits next to coffee beans

Taco Bell's New Cinnabon Delights Coffee

Given the cult following of Baja Blast, the bar for any new drink to come out of Taco Bell is understandably high. First released in 2004, the tropical-lime soft drink made to vaguely mimic the "tropical" flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine has seen a decades-long success — the soft drink has its own Reddit pages, canned and slushy versions, and, most recently, a Mountain Dew partnership.

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

In what is likely an effort to replicate Baja Blast's sweeping success, the fast-food chain just put another new drink on its menu.

Released alongside the $5 Bell Breakfast Box, Cinnabon Delights Coffee is meant to mimic the flavor of the Taco Bell's signature donut holes — Cinnabon Delights were launched in 2013 in a partnership between the chain and the longstanding cinnamon bun maker.

The Cinnabon Delights cinnamon flavor comes through the premium-roast coffee with vanilla creamer and is available in both hot and iced versions for $2.29.

The $5 Bell Breakfast Box, meanwhile, is a one-stop combo of Grande Toasted Breakfast Burrito, hash browns, two Cinnabon Delights and a choice of coffee (perfect opportunity to try the Cinnabon Delights Coffee!) or medium fountain drink. As breakfast items, both will only be available from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

What Is Taco Bell Doing To Retain Customers?

Known to constantly tinker with its menu by pulling and reintroducing different items, Taco Bell had already raised a storm by bringing back the popular Nacho Fries this week. In January, the chain has also launched a $10 "Taco Lover’s Pass" that gets users a taco a day for a month and very briefly had chicken wings on the menu in the same time period.

This type of ever-evolving menu is a completely different strategy from competitors like McDonald's  (MCD) , which is known for its stability and very limited changes. Given the social media storm that emerges over beloved items like Nacho Fries and Mexican Pizza, this is proving to be a surefire way for Taco Bell to set its apart from other chains.

"That's why we'll do things like early access to all of our limited time only products," Chief Digital Officer Zipporah Allen said of told TheStreet in an exclusive interview last month. "We know that our fans look forward to [finding out] the next new food item that Taco Bell is going to have and so we give them early access."