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In a first-of-its-kind partnership with Pepsi, Taco Bell has announced the introduction of Mountain Dew Baja Blast, a soft drink available only at participating Taco Bell restaurants nationwide. Mountain Dew Baja Blast, which features a Mexican-inspired tropical lime flavor, marks the first time an international beverage company and quick-service restaurant have collaborated to create a proprietary beverage specifically designed to complement the chain's menu items.
"Pepsi has proven to be a true strategic partner and understands our need to continue to differentiate ourselves in the market place," said Greg Creed, chief marketing officer for Taco Bell, in a statement. "We continue to reinforce our 'Think Outside The Bun' message by offering food, and now a beverage item, that consumers can't get anywhere else."
The new product has a turquoise-green color and a flavor that has been described as Mountain Dew mixed with tropical lime. Pepsi and Taco Bell, business partners since the 1970s, worked hand-in-hand to develop the signature flavor so it appealed to the large number of Taco Bell customers who regularly drink Mountain Dew. The companies conducted extensive research to ensure the name, color, and the taste complemented Taco Bell menu items and lived up to the personalities of both brands.
"Over the years, Taco Bell has helped grow the Mountain Dew brand to the point where Taco Bell customers and Mountain Dew drinkers have become kindred spirits," said Dave Burwick, SVP and chief marketing officer for Pepsi-Cola North America. "They are active, energetic, and constantly looking for something they can call their own."
Taco Bell customers are one-and-a half times more likely to drink Mountain Dew than the average American, according to research. With two-thirds of its business being generated at the drive-thru and a growing late night business, Taco Bell has a unique opportunity with Mountain Dew Baja Blast to drive off-site beverage purchases and overall sales. By offering an exclusive drink at its restaurants, Taco Bell hopes to give customers a compelling reason to purchase a beverage at the drive-thru, instead of placing a food-only order and getting an alternative beverage at their destination.
Mountain Dew Baja Blast will be supported nationally with a multi-million dollar marketing campaign, including in-store point of purchase merchandise, online and print media buys, and 60-second radio spots on ESPN. Extensive sampling events will also take place at 5,400 Taco Bell restaurants and in selected markets around the country to drive trial and awareness.