Yum Brands' Sales Stay Afloat Thanks To Taco Bell's Fan-Favorite Item

In what proved to be a challenging second quarter for Yum Brands, Taco Bell outshone the company's other brands, Pizza Hut and KFC. In its earnings report on August 3, Yum Brands said one company-wide highlight was that its global digital sales were close to $6 billion during the quarter. 

However, areas of the international Yum Brands struggled with KFC same-store sales in the United States dipping 7%, according to Forbes. Pizza Hut didn't do much better during the second quarter with its sales declining by 4%. Forbes reported Pizza Hut has struggled with finding enough delivery drivers, which affected its sales, while KFC previously reported two years of growth. 

During the same period that Pizza Hut and KFC saw declines, Taco Bells in the United States reported an 8% increase in same-store sales. Forbes reported that Yum CEO David Gibbs said during an earnings conference call that "Taco Bell continues to fire on all cylinders."

In high demand

A lot of Taco Bell's success during the second quarter is being credited to the return of the Mexican Pizza, which sold out within a week of being added to the menu at some locations in May, according to Nation's Restaurant News

Good news for fans of Mexican Pizza and Taco Bell is that Yum Brands announced the item will become a permanent feature on its menu starting on September 15, per CBS News.  There was a lot of pent-up demand for the Mexican Pizza amid its May return after it had been removed from Taco Bell menus in November 2020 when the menu was shrunk due to the pandemic. 

Taco Bell's version of pizza includes either beans or ground beef sandwiched between two flat and crispy tortillas with pizza sauce, cheese and chopped tomatoes. According to CBS News, Taco Bell first launched the Mexican Pizza with the name "Pizzazz Pizza" in 1985.