A few items are being added by Taco Bell to its menu, and the one addition creating the most buzz in the nation's biggest restaurant chain specializing in Mexican food is the Sriracha Quesarito.
It's been eight months since Taco Bell introduced the Quesarito, a burrito enveloped in a quesadilla. It is as decadent as it sounds, and last year's rollout brought some negative attention given the at least 620 calories and 30 grams of fat that the item packs.
Thursday's twist on the Quesarito adds Sriracha — the Asian chili-pepper hot sauce that is popular — to the double-rolled concoction.
Keep Spinning the Flavor Wheel
It started with Doritos Locos Tacos in the year 2012, serving up tacos in casings as though they were nacho cheese Doritos, dusted. Over a billion of them have been sold in under three years.
The fast-food chain was especially busy on the innovation front last year, starting with the Waffle Taco that kicked off the national rollout of the breakfast menu 11 months past of Taco Bell. The Quesarito followed several months afterwards.
Each of the new products have helped keep customers coming.
Comps for domestic Yum Brands places during the fourth quarter climbed 4 percent 7 percent at Taco Bell and 2 percent over the previous year's vacation quarter.
Incremental growth should be provided by the breakfast menu in March of last year's national rollout until we lap the late March debut in a couple of weeks.
Yum Is Hoping to fulfill Its Name
The boost can be used by Yum Brands if the Sriracha Quesarito is a success. It's fallen short of Wall Street's profit goals in its last three quarters, including a sudden decline in adjusted earnings in its latest report.
You can look at the Taco Bell menu to find other items you might like.
The biggest challenge at Yum Brands stays softness in China after a provider panic, but things could definitely be better after posting a just 3 percent uptick in worldwide sales over the past year.
Taco Bell's success will help, even when it's the tiniest of the three chains. There were 6,199 Taco Bells global when the year began, less than half of the 13,602 Pizza Hut or 14,197 KFC locations outside in the wild. It does move the needle, and come Thursday it will soon be a spicy needle.