r/TacoBell will have a field day with this one.
According to the info in the sidebar, the r/TacoBell subreddit has more than 154,000 subscribers, putting it in the top 1% of all Reddit communities. If it were a U.S. city, it would be roughly the same size as Alexandria, Virginia. A second Taco Bell-themed subreddit, r/LiveMas, has an additional 41,000 members. And we're sure these two subs are about to light up with the news that Taco Bell is dropping brand-new menu items.
Although those Taco Bell subreddits aren't the biggest food-focused communities on Reddit — r/Starbucks has over 271,000 subscribers — conversations about Taco Bell, its menu items, and just Living Mas, in general, were the most prevalent fast food-related discussions on the social media platform. Restaurant Business cited information from GlobalData, a social media analytics firm, which said that Taco Bell accounted for 31% of all quick-service restaurant (QSR) mentions on Reddit last year. That was followed by Starbucks (22% of conversations), Chipotle (14%) and McDonald's (13%). Six other chains accounted for the remaining 20%.
However, not everything discussed in the subs was positive. GlobalData determined that a significant number of those discussions were about Taco Bell’s steadily increasing prices. “Reddit users have voiced their displeasure over Taco Bell’s rising prices and what they perceive as subpar ingredient quality in comparison to local eateries,” Smitarani Tripathy, a social media analyst at Global Data, said.
Tripathy noted that other frequently mentioned topics were the chain’s mobile ordering systems, “the pleasure derived from receiving free food,” and the range of sauce options at Taco Bell.
In keeping with GlobalData’s observations, two of the most popular posts on r/TacoBell in the past month include one that asks, “Explain to Me How This is a Value Menu,” due to the $4.99 price points of some Value Menu items at an Atlanta-area Taco Bell. Another highlighted a glitch on the Taco Bell app that listed the Chicken Chalupa Deluxe Box for $1.49 instead of its regular price, which can range between $9.99 and $14.99, depending on the location.
Restaurant Business reports that prices at limited-service restaurants were around 6% higher in December 2023 than they were the previous December. Regardless, Taco Bell’s same-store sales still increased by 8% in the third quarter of 2023.
Taco Bell also recently hosted a massive, tech-heavy Apple-style event in Las Vegas, Live Mas LIVE, where the chain announced some of its upcoming menu items and collaborations that will be introduced in 2024.
This year, Taco Bell regulars can expect a new Chicken Cantina menu, which will feature a Chicken Cantina Burrito, Chicken Cantina Taco, Cantina Chicken Quesadilla, Cantina Chicken Bowl, and a new Avocado Verde Salsa to pair with any (or all) of them.
A new Cheesy Chicken Crispanada will be debuting on menus nationwide on Thursday, February 15, while Crispy Chicken Nuggets and a Cheesy Enchilada Dipping Taco will arrive later in the year. Taco Bell also plans to unleash a Mtn Dew Baja Blast Gelato at some point in 2024. We can pretty much guarantee that Reddit will be talking about that one.
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