Taco Bell follows McDonald’s in making major menu moves

When McDonald’s announced its intention to develop an altogether new brand, the company’s purpose was hazy.

It already has the capability of providing small-format versions of its flagship brand. So simply being able to operate in a smaller space did not seem like a compelling cause to construct a mostly new menu under a different brand name.

With the opening of the first CosMc’s, it’s evident that McDonald’s (MCD) – Get Free Report aims to compete with Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts in the lucrative beverage area.

That makes sense because beverages, particularly labor-intensive ones, have high profit margins.

It should be emphasized that CosMc’s sells coffee, but it is not a coffee-based brand. Unlike Starbucks (SBUX) – Get Free Report, which continues to focus on coffee, the McDonald’s spinoff has accepted anything you drink (apart from booze) as its raison d’être.

“CosMc’s menu is rooted in beverage exploration, with bold and unexpected flavor combinations, vibrant colors, and functional boosts,” according to a news statement from the firm.

“You’ll see a range of specialty lemonades and teas, indulgent blended beverages and cold coffee – think Sour Cherry Energy Slush, Tropical Spiceade and S’mores Cold Brew.”

The new restaurant will also sell some unique foods, as well as Egg McMuffins (which will be available all day) and McFlurries from the normal McDonald’s menu.

CosMc’s provides McDonald’s with a high-margin recipe that is unaffected by volatile beef and chicken prices, as well as exposure to the nonmeal sector, where Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have succeeded.

Taco Bell is experimenting with frozen coffee.

Taco Bell has long welcomed the possibility of serving consumers outside of conventional meal times. In ads, the restaurant jokingly utilized the term “fourth meal,” implying that it may be a late-night terrible choice made after having already eaten supper.

Beyond the usual fast-food soda options, the company has embraced beverages and frozen drinks. Taco Bell has long sold Freeze slush-like drinks in a range of ever-changing flavors, including several inspired by popular Mountain Dew flavors. However, it has never offered frozen coffee beverages.

With its own Frappuccino-style frozen coffee beverages, the business is now going after Starbucks in its own way.

Taco Bell’s new Coffee Chillers are being tested in a few California locations. They’re available as an all-day menu item. Beginning December 15, the chain will test both Coffee Chillers and Churro Chillers tastes in certain stores.

These are the new Taco Bell beverages.

Taco Bell currently sells basic hot and iced coffees across the country. It also has a relationship with Cinnabon to sell coffee in its signature flavor, both hot and iced.

“The Coffee Chiller is served in a 16-oz cup that’s swirled with flavor on the inside, filled with blended iced coffee and topped with a layer of cold foam, available in Mexican Chocolate, Caramel Churro and Spiced Vanilla,” according to Chew Boom.

“The Churro Chiller is served in a 16-oz cup that’s also swirled with flavor on the inside, filled with a blended sweet shake and topped with a layer of cold foam and churro crumbles, available in Mexican Chocolate, Dulce de Leche Coffee, Wild Strawberry and Sweet Vanilla.”

The new beverages cost $4.19 and are not included in any happy hour deals.

Taco Bell has not specified how long the experiment will endure. The chain has a long history of testing an item locally and then releasing it nationally within a few months if the test is successful.

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