After a major marketing push behind the return of Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza in May, the item disappeared again almost as quickly as it had re-appeared. A shortage of ingredients was blamed, but it was hard to believe that the chain had been caught off guard with the huge demand for the popular item.
But Taco Bell's CEO Mark King recently revealed just how unprepared the chain was for the breakneck demand for Mexican Pizza. And while the item is still missing from the menu, its final (and definitive) return has at long last been announced.
When the one-of-a-kind pizza made its triumphant return earlier this year, Taco Bell was entirely underprepared for how much excitement had been brewing. Following an 18-month hiatus, fans flocked to get all the Mexican Pizza they had missed and sales were seven times higher than anticipated. All of Taco Bell's 7,600 locations were sold out of the item in just under two months, King told Fortune Magazine.
Taco Bell said on its website that "replenishing the beloved menu item is taking longer than we'd like," and that it would take several months before the pizza-making operation would be up and running again. That meant that even the TikTok musical featuring Doja Cat and Dolly Parton, which was planned as part of its celebratory homecoming, had to be postponed.
Luckily, the item is now slated for a definite, permanent comeback on September 15. King also told Fortune about having learned his lesson when it comes to messing with people's favorite fast foods.
"I had more feedback—hate mail!—over the removal of Mexican pizza [than any other time]," he shared.
Originally, the company had removed the item in November of 2020 in an effort to simplify the menu during the pandemic. But the Mexican Pizza was too iconic to go quietly, and soon a growing call for its return popped up on social media (including a Change.org petition that had more than 200,000 signatures).
Hopefully, come September, Taco Bell will be better prepared.