Friday, December 6, 2013
The Associated Press
NEW YORK - Rise and shine. It's time for breakfast soda.
Taco Bell said Friday that it's adding Mtn Dew A.M -- a mix of Mountain Dew soda and Tropicana orange juice -- to its breakfast menu, which was rolled out earlier this year at select locations. Separately, the industry tracker Beverage Digest said that PepsiCo Inc. next year plans to introduce Mountain Dew Kickstart, made with juice.
Mtn Dew A.M. is mixed in restaurants and only available at Taco Bell; Kickstart would be a packaged drink sold by PepsiCo.
John Sicher, publisher of Beverage Digest, noted that giving consumers drink options for the morning is a way for companies to boost their performance. Overall, per capita soda consumption has been on the decline since its peak in 1998.
Mountain Dew Kickstart would also be a way for PepsiCo to feed off the popularity of energy drinks, which saw sales volume grow by nearly 17 percent last year. Each of the top three brands -- Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar -- saw double-digit gains, according to Beverage Digest.
Taco Bell, which is owned by Louisville, Ky.-based Yum Brands Inc., announced the addition in conjunction with its new A.M. Crunchwrap, which combines scrambled eggs, cheese, a hash brown and bacon or sausage in a single tortilla. It has 680 calories with bacon, or 730 calories with sausage. A 16-ounce cup of Mtn Dew A.M. has 160 calories.
The chain introduced breakfast -- which it refers to as "FirstMeal" -- at about 800 restaurants in 14 states this year.
Although Taco Bell is looking to expand by offering higher-end options, it's also finding success by appealing to younger men who crave junk food. Yum Brands attributed a recent sales boost to its new tacos with shells made out of Nacho Cheese Doritos.