Taco Bell debuts second beverage with dairy through checkoff support
The Mtn Dew Baja Blast Colada Freeze features a dairy-based creamer made from real heavy cream, with pineapple and coconut flavors. The drink is available on a limited-time basis or until supplies run out.
“Taco Bell fans now have the opportunity to enjoy a delicious tropical, creamy twist on the iconic Baja Blast Freeze,” said Mike Ciresi, a Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) senior dairy scientist who works with Taco Bell.
“The Baja Blast Colada Freeze shows that dairy plays a key role on Taco Bell’s beverage menu. Expanding beverage offerings to include dairy not only delights customers but drives additional dairy sales and adds value to the checkoff investment.”
The drink follows last year’s Pineapple Whip Freeze that used a similar dairy creamer. Ciresi, along with Emil Nashed, who leads DMI’s Global Innovation Partnerships science team, joined DMI’s Product Research Team and the Midwest Dairy Center at the University of Minnesota on the project.
The efforts led to a dairy-based, shelf-stable creamer that consists of real cream and met Taco Bell’s product requirements.
“The Pineapple Whip Freeze unlocked dairy in Taco Bell’s frozen beverage category,” Ciresi said.
“Once we had a way to unlock the creamer, we had flexibility to experiment with flavors and other types of freezes. Pineapple Whip Freeze was a huge beverage launch for Taco Bell and we’re building off that now.”
Heather Mottershaw, vice president of pipeline innovation and product development for Taco Bell, said the restaurant chain benefits greatly from dairy checkoff resources.
“We always love collaborating with DMI scientists and dreaming up amazing ideas together,” Mottershaw said.