Taco Bell unveils new checkoff supported dairy-based beverage

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The Island Berry Freeze is available for a limited time in blue raspberry or wild strawberry flavors.  Pic: Taco Bell
The Island Berry Freeze is available for a limited time in blue raspberry or wild strawberry flavors. Pic: Taco Bell

Related tags Dairy Taco Bell

Taco Bell is continuing its run of dairy-based beverages with dairy checkoff support.

The chain released the Island Berry Freeze, which uses a shelf-stable creamer created by dairy checkoff scientists. It is Taco Bell’s third beverage launch featuring the dairy creamer, beginning with the Pineapple Whip Freeze in May of 2020 and the Mountain Dew Baja Blast Colada Freeze last May.

The Island Berry Freeze, offered in blue raspberry or wild strawberry flavors, is available at participating US Taco Bell restaurants through March 12.

“After the initial success of the Pineapple Whip, it just made sense to build off of that momentum and continue offering beverages that bring a lot of excitement to Taco Bell’s lineup,”​ said Mike Ciresi, a Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) senior dairy scientist who works with Taco Bell.

“Taco Bell is all about bold, exciting flavors, especially with its beverages, and believes the Island Berry Freeze has a flavor that pops and will hit the mark with consumers.”

Another Taco Bell item – the Grilled Cheese Burrito – is also back on the menu. The burrito features a blend of mozzarella, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses in addition to reduced-fat sour cream, seasoned beef, rice, crunchy red strips and chipotle sauce. A layer of cheese is then grilled around the tortilla.

The burrito launched in the summer of 2020 and re-entered Taco Bell’s menu last fall with a double steak option.

Heather Mottershaw, vice president of pipeline innovation and product development for Taco Bell, said, “We understand how much dairy enhances our menu in terms of innovation and flavor and it’s supported by the response we get from our customers.  We’re grateful to have checkoff scientists working side-by-side with our team to continue pushing the envelope with items featuring dairy.”

Emily Bourdet, vice president of global innovation partnerships for DMI, said the results of all checkoff partners, including at Taco Bell, are making a difference. She said there have been 2bn pounds of milk equivalent growth overall since the start of the partnerships work, and each partner averages about 3% annual growth in dairy volume.