Taco Bell just opened its first Cantina concept in Chicago this week in which beer, wine, sangria and shots to go with its Twisted Freezes are served in addition to the traditional Taco Bell fare.
For a brand that gave the world the 4th Meal (that meal at 1 am after a night of drinking), this seems like a pretty solid fit for its brand. Much more than say, the biscuit taco.
From a business perspective, it is easy to see why Taco Bell beer has arrived, as alcohol is extremely profitable. From a brand perspective, Taco Bell beer works because, unlike some of its competitors that market the notion of family, Taco Bell has never done that. Rather it presents itself as edgy and young adult. (Hence the previously mentioned 4th Meal.)
Its brand gives Taco Bell permission to sell alcohol. The McDonald’s brand, for example, does not have permission to sell it. Subway doesn’t either.
How Taco Bell beer fits.
While I know that Taco Bell has seen success with its foray into the breakfast meal part, it always seemed a little off brand. Taco Bell is about the late night meal part, right? Adding alcohol seems to me to be right on the Taco Bell’s brand and actually fits better with its existing menu than most of its competitors. For a company that serves Doritos Locos Tacos and Nachos, beer seems to fit in quite nicely.
I doubt that this will be a widespread thing and certainly not available through the famous 1 am drive-thru line, but I think that this move further cements the young adult fast food brand that Taco Bell is trying to own and being fiercely single-minded is good for any brand.