Since it launched in early 2012, Taco Bell has sold more than 450 million Doritos Locos Tacos.
But its creation started back in 2009 with a trip to Home Depot. To show executives how the companies could fuse the flavor of Doritos with taco shells, the dev teams “basically went out to Home Depot to buy a paint-spray gun, and then sprayed [Doritos] flavoring onto our existing yellow corn tacos,” recalls Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed. “It was pretty funny watching people from behind glass spraying our tacos with a paint gun. But it was enough for us to know conceptually that we had a big idea.”
In order to create the DLT, the teams had to consider everything from seasoning mechanics to the taco’s structural integrity throughout 2010 and 2011. “Frito-Lay wanted what’s called a ‘teeth-rattling crunch,’ so they wanted it to snap and crunch more than the current Taco Bell shell snaps and crunches,” Creed says. “So we had to get that formula changed, then we had to find a way to deliver the flavoring, and then the seasoning. I mean, it was actually important that we left the orange dusting on your fingers because otherwise, we’re not delivering the genuine Doritos [experience].”