The days of longing for the return of Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza will soon be a thing of the past. The fan-favorite Mexican-style fast food chain is set to bring the hit dish back to menus later this year, but this time, it won't be disappearing from the menu. The Mexican Pizza will now be on Taco Bell's permanent menu!
The exciting news was confirmed by Taco Bell CEO Mark King. Speaking to Fortune just two months after the Mexican Pizza made its brief but amazing return to restaurants nationwide, King confirmed, "It's going to be relaunched mid-September and it's going to be a permanent item." For those unfamiliar, the Mexican Pizza consists of seasoned ground beef and refried beans sandwiched between two crisp "pizza shell" tostadas, then smothered in diced tomatoes, a three-cheese blend and a spicy pizza sauce. The dish originally debuted on the menu back in 1985 and quickly gained a cult following, but after remaining a mainstay on the menu for more than two decades, Taco Bell made the decision in November 2020 to remove Mexican Pizza from the menu.
"I had more feedback-hate mail!-over the removal of Mexican pizza [than any other time]," King said of the immediate backlash to the Mexican Pizza's removal. "It was time consuming to make. It also had a number of specific items that were only for the Mexican pizza. When we went into COVID-19, we simplified the menu...trying to make it simpler for the team members."
However, the backlash, which included fan-created petitions, was so strong that "the marketing team said 'Look, we need to reintroduce it," and in May, the Mexican Pizza returned to menus nationwide. Amid the return, "the marketing team made it bigger than life," with Doja Cat signing on to be a spokesperson for the Mexican Pizza as other influencers and celebrities, including Dolly Parton, expressed their excitement about the dish's return. Unfortunately, the Mexican Pizza's return was short-lived, with supplies selling out within a matter of just weeks. According to King, sales of the Mexican Pizza were seven times higher than before it was removed from the menu, and its 7,600 stores were out of the Mexican Pizza in less than two months. Bringing the Mexican Pizza back as a permanent menu item seems like a no-brainer.
But Taco Bell may not be stopping at the Mexican Pizza. Following the dish's success upon its return, King said, "What we learned is that one of the keys to our magic is that people really love individual items." Now, he teased, "For us it's, 'What other magical items have we removed that we can relaunch in a big way to capture people's interest or imagination?'" At this time, there's no word on what other items Taco Bell may be looking to bring back to menus. Representatives for the fast food company did not confirm the Mexican Pizza's alleged mid-September return date to Fortune.