Glen W. Bell Jr., founder of Taco Bell, died this past weekend. Bell popularized the pre-fried, crunchy taco shell, filled with seasoned ground beef, lettuce, cheese, and hot sauce, creating a wholly American style of Mexican food and launching a million “taco nights” across Middle America. It originally sold for 19 cents (today, the same taco sells for 89 cents as part of the “Why Pay More?” value menu). He sold the company in 1978. Today, it is a part of YUM brands, the largest restaurant company in the world, along with KFC, Pizza Hut, and Long John Silver’s.
In a tongue-in-cheek attempt to rehabilitate the chain’s nutritional image, Taco Bell recently launched its “Drive Thru Diet” campaign, promoting its Fresco Menu of 7 items ranging from 92 calories to 241 calories. Yes, a single Fresco Crunchy taco is just 92 calories. But wait–in another section of the website, the Fresco Crunchy taco is listed as 150 calories. Imagine that–another fast-food corporate website with incomplete nutritional information (see my previous problem with Domino’s).