First Taco Bell opens in India

by Bryan Salvage
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LOUISVILLE, KY. – Yum! Brands Inc. announced its first Taco Bell in India is open for business under the wing of its international division, Yum! Restaurants International. Yum! is the leading restaurant company in India with its KFC and Pizza Hut brands. Introducing the first Taco Bell in India reflects the company’s strategy of creating a third global brand.

“We’re delighted to be offering Taco Bell to consumers in India, a key growth market in our global portfolio,” said Graham Allan, president, Yum! Restaurants International. “Based on customer feedback so far, we expect it will become extremely popular, just as it is in the U.S. Mexican-style food is perfect for the Indian taste palate and we will be offering a variety of vegetarian meals as well so that everyone can enjoy it.”

Located in Bangalore, India, the new Taco Bell international restaurant is the country’s first experience with the Mexican-inspired quick-service restaurant brand. Taco Bell’s “Think Outside the Bun” positioning and brand essence is expected to resonate extremely well with India’s young population, the company said.

Tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas and Crunchwraps, including spicier products tailored to the Indian market, are featured on the new Taco Bell India menu. The menu offers value-priced items starting at 35 cents. In addition, 50% of the menu features a vegetarian range of products specially created for Indian consumers including potato paneer burritos and crunchy potato tacos, among others.

India is a key growth market for Yum! Brands due to its extremely young and large population of 1.1 billion people, growing middle class and emerging economy. Over the past 12 years, Yum! said it has become the largest and fastest-growing restaurant company in India. By 2015, the company expects to have at least 1,000 restaurants in India, up from 230 restaurants as of year-end 2009.

KFC is the fastest-growing quick-service restaurant brand in India with 72 restaurants in 13 cities as of year-end 2009. Yum! opened 27 new KFC restaurants in India in 2009, which is among the highest number of store openings in the country’s quick-service restaurant industry.

Pizza Hut has been named the “Most Trusted Food Service Brand” in India for the fifth year by The Economic Times (India), ahead of all other Indian and global brands. As of year-end 2009, there were 158 Pizza Huts in 34 cities offering a range of localized products including masala pizza, chicken tikka appetizers and spicy Indian drinks.

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