Naming Taco Bell Foods

Would you eat a "Mexagon"? Maybe. Neatorama readers became excited about eating a Hexaflexamexagon, after all. But the Mexagon didn't fly at Taco Bell. A lot of consumer research goes into naming new products at the fast food chain.  

In 2005, Taco Bell's corporate chefs tried wrapping a hard-shell taco in a big, soft tortilla to solve the age-old problem of taco spillage in cars. Seventy percent of Taco Bell's revenue comes from drive-thru windows, so the company's executives thought it could be a hit -- with the right name.

"We had to choose what aspect of the dish we wanted to emphasize," Perdue explained. "What really stood out for us was the texture, the combination of a crunchy and soft shell. But the shape was also unusual. Who's ever eaten a hexagon?"

Hence, "Mexagon." Perdue said her team also tested "Origami Tostada," "Crunchwich" and "Crunchilada," among many others, with Taco Bell fans to see which one they liked best. They ended up finding that the names that emphasized shape weren't alluring to consumers; they didn't scream "craveability," the crucial metric for most fast-food products.

"Consumers were really responding to Crunchwich," she said. "But they told us, 'You're not about sandwiches. You're Mexican!' So we changed the 'wich' to 'wrap.'" The Crunchwrap Supreme was born.

The company admits that its new products would be just as unfamiliar in Oaxaca as they are in Topeka, but no one goes to Taco Bell for authentic Mexican food; folks go there because they're open late when the munchies strike. Link -via First We Feast

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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