Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question. Taco
Bell?s value meal was not a one time event and has, in fact, been
expanded several times since the concept began in 1988 and several
more times since campaign?s launch in the early 1990?s. Taco Bell was
one of the first fast food outlets to implement what it called ?smart
research? surveys to determine what people wanted. Initially the value
menu featured items priced at .49, .59 and .69 cents:
NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION
?In 1988 Taco Bell launched the value initiative, lowering the price
of new items and introduced Free Drink Refills. It also began the
three-tier pricing strategy which remained the core of the value
offering through 1994.?
?History of Taco Bell?
By the late '80s, everybody from Burger King to Wendy's was following
suit, and implement similar pricing techniques to appeal to their
customers. It was about this time that Taco Bell really began to focus
on its value meal as a successful ad campaign, perhaps viewing its
competitions? enthusiasm to mimic the initiative as confirmation of
?In the early nineties, Taco Bell was famous for its ".59 .79 .99"
pricing plan, in which nearly everything on the menu was either .59,
.79 or .99 cents.
Despite Taco Bell's relatively cheap per-item pricing, it never had a
true value menu until the mid 2000's. The menu features several items
generally priced below $1.49. The introduction of the value menu also
brought new items to the restaurant's offerings, notably items made
with potatoes and Taco Bell's third dessert, the Caramel Apple
Empanada. (Cinnamon Crispas, triangular fried flour tortilla shells
were offered until being replaced by Cinnamon Twists) The Cheesy Bean
and Rice Burrito recently replaced the Bean Burrito Especial, which
was removed because of its small profit margin. Also of note is that
half of the menu is not truly new, as Beef Combo Burritos, Cheesy Bean
and Rice Burritos, Double Decker Tacos, and both Spicy Chicken items
had been on the regular menu before, as permanent or limited time only
Clearly, the ?value meal? has not only been successful for Taco Bell
but has largely become the franchise?s defining quality. Yum! Brands,
Inc., the parent company of Taco Bell and other enterprises such as
Pizza Hut and KFC, continues to place significant market value on it?s
?value meal? initiative and by all appearances isn?t likely to change
that position any time soon. The campaign continues to be viable and
it seems that they have an ?if it ain?t broke don?t fix it? mentality
when it comes to sticking with what works.
?There is a marketing relationship to value. Taco Bell continues to
sell a "value meal"; whereas Wendy goes towards big fries, drinks,
salads. Each is approaching value from a different perspective.?
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND PROMOTION
I suggest you read the articles credited above in their entirety as
there is obvious a great deal of pertinent information that I am
unable to cover here in detail.
I hope you find that my answer exceeds your expectations. If you have
any questions about my research please post a clarification request
prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating and your
final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the
near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher
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