retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Associated Press reports that Taco Bell is going to serve beer, wine and what it calls "mixed alcohol freezes" at a new store it plans to open in the Chicago area later this year.

The move, the story says, "is an additional sign that Taco Bell is working to shed its fast-food image and appeal to millennials, who marketers say prefer places and products that seem less standardized and more authentic." However, Taco Bell is saying at least for the moment that this is a one-shot, with no plans to rollout the program to other locations around the country ... though it has already tested the concept in South Korea, Japan and the UK.
KC's View:
No plans at the moment ... but it seems like a pretty good bet that if this works, Taco Bell will be able to come up with plans for a national rollout pretty quickly.

One question: Is "mixed alcohol freezes" a euphemism for margaritas? Because that's exactly what it sounds like.

I don't want to suggest here that booze is the best or the only way for fast feeders to differentiate themselves. However, it seems clear from the Starbucks experiment that the ability to sell adult beverages is one way for these chains to communicate the fact that they are adult-friendly.

Of course, you can always try better food. It's interesting ... the Chicago Tribune reported the other day that Chipotle is looking to differentiate itself from the fast food pack even more than it already has by testing chorizo sausage at 33 locations. (The company tested chorizo briefly in 2011, but discontinued the test because it believed the product was too greasy.)

Of course, Chipotle already sells beer...