It's no problem to stretch our gastronomic imaginations to the concept of Taco Bell's "fourth meal," to agree to fill our gurglilng stomachs in the wee hours with chalupas and Doritos Locos Tacos. That all belongs to the day just ending, and is on-trend with similar tests such as McDonald's nascent nocturnivores breakfast after midnight test, and Dunkin' Donuts new addition of Quaker Oatmeal to expand its "better for you" breakfast lineup.
But somehow it's a stretch to imagine Taco Bell could produce something appetizing for breakfast. Regardless, now the Yum! Brands-owned iconic fast-food chain is giving it a serious try.
Expanding on a pilot test earlier this year, Taco Bell has rolled out a test of its new breakfast menu in about 800 restaurants, primarily in the western United States. (Is that because they get up later than everyone else, so it's more like an early lunch?)
The test menu for "FirstMeal" includes two new items: the A.M. Crunchwrap and Mtn Dew A.M. They have joined Cinnabon Delights as the chain's morning repast.
Quickly give the A.M. Crunchwrap its due. At a price of $2.49, its breakfast-worthy ingredients list includes scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, cheese, and a hash brown, all wrapped up and grilled in a warm, soft flour tortilla. Not much of stretch there from a decent omelette.
But the other signature breakfast product for Taco Bell will take some getting used to. Mtn Dew A.M. is said to be a mixture of Mountain Dew and Tropicana Orange Juice that is mixed in-store and priced at $1.69 or $1.99.
Yes, Mtn Dew now comes in all sorts of interesting flavors. And no doubt many Americans drink it for breakfast without pretending it's actually a breakfast drink — or caring what anyone else thinks of it as a breakfast drink. Iconoclasm is part of the brand DNA of Mtn Dew.
But breakfast? How well Mtn Dew A.M. plays as part of FirstMeal has yet to be seen. Taco Bell executives are oozing with optimism after a recent comeback that has included the smashing success of Doritos Locos Tacos.
"Over the past four decades, Americans have lulled themselves into a breakfast routine," Brian Niccol, Taco Bell's CMO, said in a press release, presumably referring to about how long McDonald's has offered breakfast. "In the spirit of our tagline, 'Live Mas,' we want to offer consumers a chance to change up that routine."
And that means they don't want to hear "No mas" about FirstMeal.