The Arkansas man whose online crusade to create Taco Bell tacos with Doritos shells preceded the launch of the hugely successful fast-food treat isn't nearly as excited about the new flavor.
Taco Bell on Wednesday will begin selling Doritos Locos Tacos with Cool Ranch seasoning, a followup to its 2012 roll-out of the traditional variety that combined the two junk foods in one $1.39 delicacy. Those went on to be the chain's most successful product launch ever, selling more than 350 million tacos in less than a year.
Todd Mills, vice president of media and information technology for the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, doesn't claim to be the first or only person to come up with the original concept. But his push to make the tacos a reality — which included writing a "tongue-in-cheek" letter to Frito Lay and making a Facebook page that drew several thousand followers — started in 2009, long before the Doritos Locos Tacos were ever planned.
Mills chronicled his push through the "Taco Shells made from Doritos Movement" Facebook page, posting updates and Photoshopped images featuring the then-theoretical tacos. The final image, in honor of Taco Bell's decision to actually sell the product: The combination tacos on the bridge of an aircraft carrier with a "Mission Accomplished" banner behind them.
But despite his dedication, Mills is not as enthused with the Cool Ranch development.
"It doesn't make sense to me really," he said Wednesday. "You think nacho cheese. That's something you'd think of with a taco. I don't know if anybody dips their tacos in cool ranch."
Taco Bell didn't reach out to Mills like it did when it first took up his group's mission and decided to create the original Doritos tacos. At that time, corporate officials flew Mills to California, picked him up at the airport in a limo and let him be one of the first to try the new creation at a Taco Bell test kitchen (His verdict, as written on the Facebook image that captured that first bite: "AWESOME!").
No such fanfare accompanied the Cool Ranch iteration, for Mills at least. An official launch date is set for Thursday, though many locations are making them available a day early.
Mills said he'll try one eventually, but it's not the same as the original.
"It's cool I guess," he said. "I'm not a big fan of Cool Ranch. When I first started this page, everybody said what about Cool Ranch? What about x brand? And I said no, it has to be Doritos and it has to be nacho cheese. Let's get this done first."