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Doritos tacos put sizzle back into Taco Bell's domestic sales

An ad for Doritos Locos Tacos shells shows Taco Bell’s spice-dusted tortillas that have aided the chain’s sales.
An ad for Doritos Locos Tacos shells shows Taco Bell's spice-dusted tortillas that have aided the chain's sales.
Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Taco Bell's new take on the taco, featuring orange Doritos dust, has helped put the sizzle back in its U.S. sales.

Sales at Taco Bell stores open at least a year rose 6 percent in this year's first quarter. Its parent company, Yum Brands Inc., on Thursday predicted even more robust sales gains for the Mexican-style chain in the second quarter.

Yum Chief Financial Officer Rick Carucci predicted sales growth in the high single digits or low double digits.

Taco Bell's introduction of Doritos Locos Tacos in early March has been "enormously successful," Carucci told industry analysts Thursday, one day after Yum reported sharply higher first-quarter earnings on the strength of robust overseas sales and a rebound in its U.S. performance.

Rollout of tacos that use shells made of Nacho Cheese Doritos came late in the first quarter, so their full impact will be felt in the current quarter. Taco Bell also said at the time of the rollout that Cool Ranch flavored shells are in the works.