Taco Bell, Pizza Hut to push value

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Value pricing and big portions appear to be on the 2000 menu for two chains owned by Tricon Global Restaurants, Louisville, Ky. Recent efforts at Taco Bell, Irvine, Calif., to tout meals for families and boast about quality ingredients are out in a marketing switch designed to boost sales. Starting in January, Taco Bell will return to its value roots and focus its $200 million ad budget on its core customer, males 18 to 24. Taco Bell also is eyeing bigger products including a supersize taco and burrito, said an attendee at a Tricon meeting with Wall Street analysts yesterday. Taco Bell's same-store sales were down 3% for the most recent quarter. TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., handles advertising. Meanwhile, sister Tricon chain Pizza Hut, Dallas, in 2000 will devote half its $100 million-plus media budget to the Big New Yorker. The product has been a big hit at its value price of $9.99. BBDO World-wide, New York, is Pizza Hut's agency. Tricon referred calls to Taco Bell and Pizza Hut; neither chain could be reached by deadline.

Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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