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Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco Hitting Stores March 7

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco Hitting Stores March 7


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The Cool Ranch-flavored taco shell exists, and is going nationwide

Taco Bell's Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco hits stores March 7.

Doritos and Taco Bell fans can stop waiting: the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco (being marketed as the Cool Ranch DLT) exists, and it's hitting Taco Bell stores nationwide March 7.

The brand first announced the release via Vine, tweeting, "It's out of the bag. #CoolRanchDLT http://vine.co/v/bvlaYggdIiU." "There has been enormous interest in the new Cool Ranch flavor of Doritos Locos Tacos and people are wondering why it took so long," Greg Creed, chief executive officer of Taco Bell Corp, said in a press release. "Originally we had planned to launch the Cool Ranch flavor in the same year as the introduction of Doritos Locos Tacos." The high demand for the Nacho Cheese flavor, however, made Taco Bell focus first on Nacho Cheese, then on Cool Ranch.

The Daily Meal got a taste of the yet-to-be-released taco, and taste tests find the taco to be predictably crunchy, but not terribly different from a regular taco. The Cool Ranch flavor, however, does linger a bit longer than the taste of a regular corn tortilla would. Cool Ranch DLT is retailing for $1.39 for a regular taco and $1.69 for a "taco supreme" with sour cream and tomatoes. Naturally, nutrition information is available online, but we don't want to know that. All we need to know is it's Cool Ranch Doritos meets Taco Bell. Perfect stoner food, for sure.


Weight Watchers Fast Food Guide – 7 Points or Less

I try to avoid fast food restaurants if possible but sometimes it doesn’t happen like that. Thankfully with the Weight Watchers program, you can still eat off of the Fast Food Menu and lose weight (within point reason). Below is a list of some of the popular restaurants that I found have a reasonable menu that are 7 points or less on the Points Plus or Smart Points plan.

If you are thinking about starting on the Weight Watchers program find out how you can do it for free here.

PP = Points Plus
SP = Smart Points

Jr. Roast Beef Sandwich – 6PP, 7SP
Jr. Ham & Cheddar Sandwich – 5PP, 6SP
Roast Turkey Chopped Salad – 6PP, 7SP
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing – 4PP, 5SP
Brewed Iced Tea (small) – 0PP, 0SP
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing – 6PP, 7SP
Ham n Cheese Slider on Wheat – 5PP, 6SP
jalapeno Roast Beef n Cheese Slider on Wheat – 6PP, 7SP
Light Italian Dressing – 0PP, 1SP
Prime Cut Chicken Tenders (2 ct.) – 6PP, 6SP
Roast Beef n Cheese Slider on Wheat – 6PP, 7SP

Grilled Honey Mustard Snack Wrap – 6PP, 7SP
Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken – 6PP, 6SP
Side Salad (no dressing) – 0PP, 0SP
Apple Slices – 0PP, 0SP
Non-fat Latte with Sugar-free French Vanilla Syrup (small) – 4PP, 5SP
Chicken McNuggets (4ct.) – 5PP, 5SP
Fruit n Yogurt Parfait – 4PP, 7SP
Hash Brown – 4PP, 5SP
French Fries (small) – 6PP, 7SP
Kiddie Cone – 1PP, 2SP

Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco – 4PP, 4SP
Beefy Mini Quesadilla – 6PP, 7SP
Cheese Roll-Up – 5PP, 6SP
Cinnamon Twists – 5PP, 7SP
Fresco Crunchy Taco, Beef – 4PP, 5SP
Fresco Soft Taco, Shredded Chicken – 4PP, 4SP
A.M. Grilled Taco – Bacon – 6PP, 7SP
A.M. Grilled Taco – Egg & Cheese – 5PP, 5SP
Cinnabon Delights (2pack) – 4PP, 6SP
Hashbrown – 5PP, 5SP
Rainforest Coffee with Nestle-Mate Original Creamer (1 creamer) – 1PP, 1SP
Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadilla – 5PP, 5SP
Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco Supreme – 5PP, 6SP
Soft Taco Supreme – 6PP, 7SP
Black Beans & Rice – 5PP, 5SP
Crunchy Taco – 5PP, 5SP
Fiery Doritos Locos Taco – 5PP, 5SP

Large Chili – 7PP, 7SP
Jr. Hamburger – 7PP, 7SP
Grilled Chicken Go Wrap – 7PP, 7SP
Seasoned Homestyle Potatoes (breakfast) – 6PP, 7SP
Steel-Cut Oatmeal, plain – 5PP, 5SP
Chicken Nuggets – Spicy or Regular (4ct.) – 5PP, 5SP
Spicy Chicken Nuggets (6ct.) – 7PP, 7SP
BBQ Dipping Sauce – 1PP, 2SP
Asian Cashew Chicken Salad (no dressing) – 5PP, 4SP
Light Ranch Dressing – 1PP, 2SP
Italian Vinaigrette – 2PP, 2SP
1/4 lb. Hamburger Patty (no bun) – 6PP, 7SP
Caesar Side Salad (no dressing) – 2PP, 2SP
Value Fries – 6PP, 7SP

Burger King

2% Latte Small – 4PP, 7SP
Bacon Cheeseburger – 7PP, 7SP
Blue Raspberry ICEE (small) – 3PP, 6SP
Chicken Nuggets (4ct.) – 5PP, 6SP
Homestyle Chicken Strips (2ct.) – 6PP, 6SP
Iced Coffee (small) – 3PP, 7SP
Onion Rings (value) – 4PP, 5SP
French Fries (value) – 5PP, 6SP
Soft Serve Cup – 4PP, 7SP

Honey Almond Greek Yogurt Parfait – 6PP, 7SP
Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat – 6PP, 7SP
Plain Cream Cheese (1oz.) – 3PP, 5SP
Reduced Fat Roasted Vegetable Medley Cream Cheese (1oz.) – 2PP, 3SP
Petite Chocolate Chipper Cookie – 3PP, 5SP
Country or Rye Bread (2oz.) – 4PP, 4SP
Dark Roast, Hazelnut, or Light Roast Coffee – Plain (16oz. or 20oz.) – 1PP, 1SP
Mediterranean & Quinoa Salad with Almonds (half salad – no dressing) – 7PP, 7SP
Classic Salad (whole salad) – 5PP, 7SP
BBQ Ranch Dressing 1 1/2 Tbsp – 2PP, 3SP
Reduced Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette 1 1/2 Tbsp – 2PP, 3SP
Low-Fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto (1 cup) – 2PP, 3SP

Extra Crispy Chicken Whole Wing – 5PP, 5SP
Coleslaw (individual) – 5PP, 7SP
Mashed Potatoes (individual) – 3PP, 3SP
Extra Crispy Chicken Drumstick – 4PP, 4SP
Grilled Chicken Breast – 5PP, 3SP
Grilled Chicken Drumstick – 3PP, 3SP
Grilled Chicken Thigh – 4PP, 4SP
Grilled Chicken Whole Wing – 2PP, 2SP
Spicy Crispy Drumstick – 4PP, 4SP
Spicy Crispy Whole Wing – 5PP, 5SP
Chicken Little (without sauce) – 6PP, 6SP
Biscuit – 5PP, 7SP
Extra Crispy Tenders (2ct.) – 6PP, 6SP

Nuggets (8ct.) – 7PP, 6SP
Grilled Nuggets (8ct.) – 3PP, 2SP
Grilled Nuggets (12ct.) – 5PP, 3SP
Grilled Market Salad (no dressing) – 5PP, 5SP
Chicken Tortilla Soup (medium) – 7PP, 7SP
Hearty Breast of Chicken Soup (medium) – 4PP, 4SP
Sweet Tea (small) – 3PP, 6SP
Chick-fil-A Sauce – 4PP, 6SP
Fat-Free Honey Mustard Dressing – 2PP, 5SP


15 Facts You Might Not Know About Taco Bell

From talking Chihuahuas to 59-cent tacos, the chain that brought Americanized Mexican food to the masses has always been an attention grabber. But even if you know your Chalupas from your Gorditas, there are still a few things you probably don’t know about Taco Bell.

1. IT’S NAMED AFTER THE FOUNDER.

That would be Glen Bell, a California entrepreneur who owned a miniature golf course and a hot dog stand, among other ventures, before hitting it big with tacos. While working at Bell’s Drive-In in San Bernardino—the same town as the first McDonald’s, incidentally—he noticed long lines at the Mexican restaurant across the street. After endearing himself to the owners, Bell got them to show him how to make hard-shell tacos, which were a novelty at the time. Bell soon opened up his own Mexican restaurant, Taco Tia, which grew to three locations before he sold to his business partner. In 1962, he opened the first Taco Bell on Firestone Boulevard in Downey, California.

2. THE TACOS WERE ORIGINALLY 19 CENTS.

And apparently customers pronounced them “Tay-Kohs” at first. Other menu items included tostadas, burritos and chiliburgers.

3. THE FIRST LOCATION FEATURED FIRE PITS AND MARIACHI BANDS.

True to the times and to its California roots, Taco Bell numero uno was basically a hangout spot. The 400-square foot, mission-style building had no indoor seating—just a kitchen and an ordering window. Outside, customers occupied a few patio chairs and tables, or stood around one of the fire pits noshing on tacos. The restaurant was fun, laid back, and carried not even a whiff of the multimillion-dollar future ahead of it.

4. THE FIRST FRANCHISEE WAS A FORMER L.A. POLICE OFFICER NAMED KERMIT.

Within two years, Taco Bell had expanded to eight locations. That’s when Bell decided to take what was a fairly novel step at the time and begin selling to franchisees who were also willing to bet on the success of Mexican-American cuisine. First up: Kermit Becky, a former LAPD officer who opened a Taco Bell in Torrance.

5. THE COMPANY SOLD TO PEPSICO IN 1978.

Taco Bell’s success caught the soda giant’s eye as early as the late '60s. At first, the company tried to cash in on the trend with its own Mexican concept—Taco Kid, a restaurant started under the Pizza Hut brand. The idea failed miserably, so in the '70s PepsiCo decided that if they couldn’t compete with Taco Bell, they’d just buy them. Bell got $130 million in the deal.

6. THE ORIGINAL LOGO WAS A MESS.

The original Taco Bell logo was a colorful, lopsided creation depicting a man sleeping under a giant sombrero while sitting atop a bell (you really have to look for it). After PepsiCo took over, it quickly came up with a cleaner concept: A bell placed over the company name. As Larry Higby, then senior vice-president of marketing for Taco Bell told Advertising Age, “We needed to look more mainstream.”

7. REMEMBER 59-79-99?

By the early '90s, Taco Bell had streamlined its operations to the point where it could offer dirt-cheap prices on all its menu items. Enter the 59-79-99 value promotion, which offered everything from tacos to nachos to cinnamon twists at one of those three price points. Started in 1991, the campaign was heavily promoted through TV and radio advertising, and put serious pressure on Taco Bell’s hamburger-slinging competitors. Sales increased 60 percent that year, and Harvard Business Review named Taco Bell the top-performing fast-food company in the nation.

8. THE TACO BELL CHIHUAHUA NEVER PAID OFF.

Eager to turn around its flagging sales in the mid '90s, Taco Bell executives put big hopes into a tiny package. In 1997, they put out a series of ads featuring the now-iconic Chihuahua (whose name was Gidget) spouting the line, “Yo quiero Taco Bell.” The ad became a cultural sensation and spawned further taglines, like “Viva Gordita!” and “Drop the Chalupa.” There was just one problem: The ads didn’t inspire people to actually buy more tacos and chalupas. In 2000, Taco Bell pulled the plug on the concept. Making matters worse, the company had to settle a $42 million lawsuit in 2003 brought by two ad men who claimed they came up with the idea. Gidget, meanwhile, kept going like a true professional, making cameos in Geico ads and starring in movies like Legally Blonde 2 before passing away at the ripe old age of 15.

9. IT HAD A “HIT THE TARGET” PROMOTION INVOLVING THE MIR SPACE STATION.

In 2001, after Russia announced it would bring down the Mir space station following 15 years in orbit, Taco Bell put up a huge floating bullseye in the South Pacific off the coast of Australia. The deal was that if any part of Mir, which was due to splash down in the ocean, hit any part of the target, everyone in America would get a free taco. It was a safe bet: Aeronautics experts predicted the chances at slim to none. And they were right.

10. IT CAN’T CRACK THE MEXICAN MARKET.

No surprise here. Despite having a robust presence abroad, with stores in the Middle East, Asia, Russia and even Iceland, Taco Bell has failed to establish itself in the country that birthed its namesake food. In 1992, the company opened locations in Mexico City, then closed them down within two years. In 2007, Taco Bell tried again in Monterrey, with the same result. It’s a wonder they even tried at all, considering what these polled Mexican people (above) think of the food.

11. DISCONTINUED ITEMS INCLUDE THE CHILIBURGER, THE BELL BEEFER, AND THE BLACK JACK TACO.

Taco Bell didn’t always think outside the bun. It offered a chiliburger on its original menu, and followed up in the '70s with the Bell Beefer, which resembled a Sloppy Joe made with seasoned taco beef. The Black Jack Taco appeared around Halloween 2009 and quickly disappeared, much to the consternation of Bell fanatics. The loudest support for a comeback is the Beefy Crunch Burrito movement. These folks are not messing around.

12. THE DORITOS LOCOS TACO WAS A FORMIDABLE CHALLENGE FOR ENGINEERS.

In a recent Fast Company story, Taco Bell executives said the idea for the DLR, as it’s known within the company, was an immediate hit. But because Doritos chips and taco shells are two completely different entities, scientifically speaking, bringing it to life took some serious work. In two years time, Taco Bell’s design team tested more than 40 different recipes. An early consumer taste test went miserably, but the team pressed on, constantly tweaking the recipe along with manufacturing equipment. The struggle was definitely real: “We had teams of engineers working day and night to get the seasoner working,” according to Steve Gomez, Taco Bell’s food innovation expert. The payoff was grande, with more than 500 million Doritos Locos Tacos sold since they debuted in 2012. Based on that success, they quickly followed it up with the Doritos Cool Ranch Taco.

13. FOR THE RECORD, ITS “SEASONED BEEF” CONTAINS 88 PERCENT BEEF.

In 2011, an Alabama law firm brought a class action lawsuit against Taco Bell alleging the company’s “seasoned beef” only contained 35 percent beef—making it unfit under U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. Rather than shy away from the issue, Taco Bell leaned in. It spent close to $4 million on advertising to shore up its reputation, including a print ad that read “Thank You For Suing Us,” and including a list of their ingredients. After Taco Bell went public with the 88 percent figure, the law firm dropped the suit.

14. IT RECENTLY MOVED ITS FIRST RESTAURANT TO COMPANY HQ.

The original Taco Bell in Downey shut down in the '80s. In the decades that followed, other Mexican restaurants tried the location, most recently a Tacos Raul. In 2014, Raul moved out, and the building was up for demolition. After hearing word of this, Taco Bell executives moved in and did what Taco Bell executives do: Made a promotion out of it. The #SaveTacoBell campaign culminated in the company moving the entire restaurant 35 miles south, to its Irvine headquarters.

15. IT’S NOW SERVING WINE AND BEER.

The good news: Taco Bell now serves booze. The bad news (for most folks): It’s only serving at two new “Cantina” locations, one in Chicago, the other in San Francisco. Opened last fall, the new concepts target those illusive creatures known as Millennials, who frequent urban areas and want something closer to a Chipotle experience.


Doritos Locos Tacos Flavored Chips To Hit Grocery Stores April 8, Plus A Contest To Win The Taco Bell Chip Spawn Before Release

First there was the nacho cheese-flavored Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos. Then there was the Cool Ranch Doritos version. Now, both of these popular Doritos flavored-taco varieties will come in a bag, thanks to the latest spinoff from the maker of Doritos.

Frito-Lay North America, a Plano, Texas-based subdivision of PepsiCo, announced it will debut Doritos Locos Tacos flavored chips on April 8. Yes, you read that correctly. The chip-flavored tacos, a fast food favorite, will be the newest chip variety from Doritos, slated to hit grocery store shelves in the upcoming month.

“Doritos Locos Tacos will become chips 4/8! Your chance to win a #DoritosPallet: tell us how bold you'd go to try them,” Doritos announced on Twitter on Monday.

The newest chip flavor will come in both Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch varieties, the company said. Best yet, a lucky winner in Doritos’ Twitter contest could win 66 11-ounce bags of Doritos Locos Tacos Nacho Cheese-and-Crunchy Taco-flavored tortilla chips and 66 11-ounce bags of Doritos Locos Tacos Cool Ranch-and-Crunchy Taco-flavored tortilla chips, valued at $566, ahead of the launch. To enter the contest, simply respond to the tweet from @Doritos and include the hashtag #DoritosPallet and say what you would do with 132 bags of the new chips. Entries are judged on “boldness,” according to the company, but keep it clean, folks.

PepsiCo had previously announced it would release a line of limited-edition chips riding the wave from Taco Bell’s great success using the Doritos product as a shell for its tacos. The company’s chief financial officer Hugh F. Johnston said during a financial conference this year: "We are gearing up for year two of our Doritos partnership with Taco Bell with even more exciting new products." But never would anyone have guessed the newest product edition would be a spinoff of a spinoff.

The latest move to turn the chip-flavored taco into a chip-flavored taco-flavored chip is likely Frito-Lay’s way to monetize the concept by spinning off variations of the initial product. Though the move may seem bizarre, a Doritos Locos Tacos flavored chip does make sense, since Doritos already created – and still successfully sells – a taco-flavored chip in 1968. In fact, Doritos have been a staple snack for years ever since the flavored corn tortilla chip was created in 1964. Arguably, so has Taco Bell, since it was purchased from Glen Bell (who created a concept store in 1946) two years prior in 1962.

With nearly equal success over the years, the merging of the two franchises for the release of the Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos last March was a no-brainer for the fast food chain. Many have said the Locos Tacos have been the most successful product of all time at Taco Bell, according to Restaurant News, prompting the company to add Cool Ranch flavored tacos earlier this month. The fast food chain reportedly sold more than 350 million of the first Doritos Locos Tacos since it was unveiled last spring, accounting for 7 percent of all items sold at Taco Bells nationwide and giving the company a 13 percent boost in sales.

And it appears now, Frito-Lay wants in on the cash cow for its own product line.

Even more of a reason for Doritos to expand with new products is the mounting competition from another division in Pepsi-Co, Lay’s Chips, which has spawned countless varieties of potato chips over the years. Most recently, Lay’s came out with Chicken & Waffles, Cheesy Garlic Bread and Sriracha flavored chips as part of its “Do Us A Flavor” contest, the company’s first in its 75-year history. According to the company, a panel of chefs and flavor experts narrowed down 3.8 million submissions to about 20 flavors to prototype and voting in the general public will continue through May when a winning chip flavor will be selected.

Stay tuned for the verdict on the Doritos Locos Tacos flavored tortilla chips when they become available on April 8.


Taco Bell’s Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos officially launch today

Taco Bell officially launched its hotly anticipated Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos on Thursday, the day after fans revolted over expectations that the item would be available Wednesday.

The new offering was preceded to the menu by the Nacho Cheese taco, which has sold more than 350 million units and is considered by the Irvine company to be its most successful product launch in its 51-year history.

The run-up to the Cool Ranch debut was accompanied by a massive social media push and special events, including password-only previews for fans in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Taco Bell plans to market the item with its largest campaign ever, including a 3-D commercial set to play in many movie theaters across the country.

But on Wednesday, the chain drew the ire of the Doritos Locos Tacos’ most passionate devotees.

The chain had surprised aficionados earlier in the week by dubbing Wednesday as Fan Day and announcing on Facebook that the Cool Ranch product would be available to buy a day earlier than planned.

But after some customers showed up at stores to find that the tacos were nowhere to be found, they swarmed Twitter and Facebook to rail against Taco Bell.

Among the postings from disappointed diners was one who said he brought along 50 co-workers only to be rebuffed: “Epic fail.”

Taco Bell posted a mea culpa on its website Wednesday, saying it was “humbled by the overwhelming response to Fan Day.”

“We apologize to those fans who couldn’t buy it a day early,” the company said.


Taco Bell scales back menu, cuts 2 Doritos Locos Tacos flavors

Taco Bell fans, brace yourselves: The fast food giant is paring down its menu.

Big changes are coming to Taco Bell menus starting September 12, according to the company. In order to simplify current menu options and make room for future menu items, Taco Bell plans to cut nine items.

Some of the items being removed include the beloved Cool Ranch flavored Doritos Locos Taco, and the Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos. At least for now, the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco is safe.

“Taco Bell is always evolving and enhancing our menu to meet fans’ evolving cravings, giving them more of what they want and less of what they don’t,” Taco Bell said in an email to Yahoo Finance.

“This menu simplification will make ordering easier and the kitchen more efficient, so customers can get their food faster than ever,” the statement read.

The other items leaving the menu include the Beefy Mini Quesadilla, Chips & Salsa, Chipotle Chicken Loader Griller, Double Decker Taco, Double Tostada, Power Menu Burrito and XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito.

“While we know some fans may be bummed about the items we’re removing, we are excited about the opportunity this brings to introduce new products to the menu in the future and confident that fans will love the simplified options,” the company said.

Competition in the fast-food space has been stiff, and companies have been fighting to lure customers by beefing up its menu with innovative munchies. Most recently, Popeyes launched its first-ever chicken sandwich on August 12 — and has since sold out of the sandwich amid chart-busting demand.

Meanwhile on Monday, Taco Bell’s sister company KFC announced that it was testing Beyond Meat (BYND) chicken in an Atlanta-area pilot program. The fake-meat item sold out within hours.

Despite already boasting a pretty extensive menu for those who don’t consume meat, Taco Bell plans to bet even bigger on the vegans and vegetarians.

In April, the restaurant announced that it was testing a new veggie menu in select Dallas, Texas stores. Some of the new items included a Vegatarian Quesarito and a Vegetarian Crunchwrap supreme. Taco Bell would not confirm to Yahoo Finance that the space being made on the menu was for a new vegetarian-friendly line up.

Taco Bell continues to be the star of the Yum Brands (YUM) family. The taco chain has seen strong sales momentum, and in its most recent quarter, Taco Bell same-store sales grew at a healthy 7%, eclipsing expectations for 3.8% growth.

Shares of Yum Brands have jumped nearly 28% this year, as of Thursday’s close.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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Wealth Fund That Quadrupled Profit Now Pivots With Bet on Europe

(Bloomberg) -- Sign up for the New Economy Daily newsletter, follow us @economics and subscribe to our podcast.One of Africa’s largest sovereign wealth funds rode the wave of U.S. technology stocks to a banner 2020. Now, it’s betting Europe will play catch-up.The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, fresh off a 51% surge in assets that took the fund above $2 billion, is boosting its exposure to European stocks and will add some Japanese equities, Chief Executive Officer Uche Orji said in an interview. The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. alumnus sees opportunity as Europe begins to open up from Covid lockdowns.“Last year, Europe underperformed America big time” as investors moved funds to technology companies profiting from the shift to online services at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Orji said. As the global economy reopens, countries with broader industrial bases and services such as Europe “will become more interesting,” he said.The Euro Stoxx 50 equity benchmark has climbed almost 11% this year, buoyed by expectations of a rapid recovery as vaccinations against the coronavirus progress while fiscal and monetary policies across the region remain loose. It’s outperformed both the S&P 500 Index and MSCI All Countries World Index, which have risen 9.6% and 7.5% respectively in the year-to-date.Expanding FootprintThe NSIA has $2.1 billion of assets under management. About a third of that amount is held by its Future Generations Fund, which buys equities in developed and emerging markets. The authority had 25% of the FGF invested in stocks last year, with the “bulk” in the U.S., while European stocks accounted for less than 4%, Orji said.“We are just going to add more capital to expand our footprints in Europe and Japan, but Europe in particular is an area where we have not had a big presence,” he said.Orji, 51, has more than two decades of experience in international banking, with an MBA from Harvard Business School. Prior to his appointment as CEO of the NSIA in 2012, he’s had stints at Goldman Sachs Asset Management LP, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UBS Securities.The NSIA reported a four-fold increase in profit last year to 160 billion naira ($390 million). Returns this year will likely trail 2020 as a rally in global equities eases up and as it invests in infrastructure projects that can take longer to generate income, Orji said.The authority plans to establish a $200 million fund that builds health-care facilities to treat diseases including cancer and orthopedics. Africa’s most populous country has for decades lacked adequate investment in health care, prompting citizens including President Muhammadu Buhari to seek treatment abroad.The NSIA plans to finance the health-care projects with co-investors, Orji said, without providing more details.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Pakistan Plans to Raise $500 Million From First Green Bond Sale

(Bloomberg) -- Pakistan plans to raise $500 million next week with the sale of a debut green bond that may lead the way for similar deals from the nation to fund hydroelectric projects.Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority, known as Wapda, is looking to sell a 10-year note this month, and intends to offer more environmentally-friendly debt over the next two years, said Muzammil Hussain, chairman of the organization. The nation aims to tap soaring investor demand globally for green debt as it pushes forward with plans to increase renewable and hydroelectric generation to 60% of total electricity by 2030.Pakistan is targeting economic growth of 5% in the year starting July from around 3% this fiscal year with the help of spending on large infrastructure projects. The funds from the proposed dollar bond will be used to fund the Diamer Basha and Mohmand dams in the nation, according to Wapda’s Hussain.“We are taking a lead against fossil fuel,” he said by phone.Pakistan sold $2.5 billion of dollar bonds in March, its first since 2017, in a sign of investor demand for debt from the nation. Fitch Ratings affirmed its B- ratings for Wapda, the same as for sovereign, earlier this year.“The government currently provides a large share of financing for power-related capex, but the policy direction for WAPDA is to expand its own indebtedness without the government’s commitment,” Fitch said at the time. “The government owns 100% of WAPDA and has a tight grip on its overall operation, including financing.”More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Trudeau Tightens Up Mortgages After Macklem Sounds Housing Alarm

(Bloomberg) -- Canadian officials escalated efforts to cool the nation’s booming housing market, moving ahead with tighter mortgage qualification rules after the central bank issued a fresh warning against buyers taking on too much debt.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government set a new benchmark interest rate on Thursday afternoon to determine whether people can qualify for mortgages that are insured by Canada’s housing agency. The move matches an April decision by the nation’s banking regulator to do the same for uninsured mortgages.The regulator -- the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions -- announced earlier Thursday it would implement its new rules June 1.Those steps coincided with a stern warning from Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem in the morning cautioning that Canadians should neither assume interest rates will remain at historic lows nor expect recent sharp gains in home prices to continue.“It is vitally important that homeownership remain within reach for Canadians,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.The moves come amid a surge in housing prices that’s raising concern among policy makers and economists. Cheap mortgages and new remote-working conditions have spurred a frenzy of demand for more spacious homes, with house hunters bidding up prices across the country.Canadians are so alarmed by the red-hot housing that nearly half the respondents in a Nanos Research Group poll for Bloomberg News say they’d like to see the Bank of Canada raise borrowing costs to curb demand for real estate and stabilize prices.Still, the measures announced Thursday are seen as incremental steps rather than representing a fundamental shift in policy.With the changes, home buyers will have to show they can afford a minimum rate of 5.25%. The current threshold, based on posted rates of Canada’s six largest lenders, is 4.79%. Economists have been estimating the tighter qualification restrictions would reduce the buying power of households by about 5%.The changes will have little impact on current housing price dynamics, according to Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.“This is not a game changer by any stretch of the imagination and it was highly expected,” Tal said by phone from Toronto.The measures from the government and the regulator came only hours after the Bank of Canada released its annual financial stability report, which highlighted the growing vulnerabilities associated with overleveraged households and speculative housing activity. It flagged three urban markets -- Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal -- as showing excess “exuberance,” with the national capital of Ottawa on the cusp of crossing that threshold.‘Not Normal”At a press conference, Macklem said some people have taken on “significantly” more debt, with many carrying very large mortgages relative to income. Borrowers and lenders need to understand that interest rates won’t always be at historic lows, and home buyers won’t be able to rely on rising values, he said.“It is important to understand that the recent rapid increases in home prices are not normal,” Macklem said. “Counting on ever higher house prices to build home equity that can be used to refinance mortgages in the future is a bad idea.”Outside of the warnings Thursday, it’s not clear how much the central bank can do to cool the market.Growing household vulnerabilities could give policy makers more reason to consider raising borrowing costs, for example, but higher rates would also inflate risks -- such as slow growth or a price correction. Macklem’s next interest-rate decision is due June 9 and the Bank of Canada has said it won’t consider raising its 0.25% benchmark rate until he economy is recovers fully from the Covid-19 pandemic.The Bank of Canada’s financial system review did find that Canada’s lenders could absorb a significant amount of losses in the case of another shock. The central bank said household debt and housing market vulnerabilities probably don’t pose a significant systemic threat to bank solvency, even though they could undermine future growth.“We have to look at the whole economy,” Macklem said at the press conference. “There are important parts of the economy that remain very weak, and the economy needs our support.”(Updates with context throughout.)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Billionaire Founder of China Property Giant Dies of Illness

(Bloomberg) -- The billionaire founder of KE Holdings Inc. has died of an unspecified illness, a shocking development for a Chinese property company that pulled off one of the strongest U.S. market debuts of 2020.Zuo Hui, who turned the company known as Beike from a nationwide chain of real estate offices into China’s largest platform for housing transactions and services, died May 20 after an “unexpected worsening of illness,” his company said in a statement without elaborating. KE Holdings’ board will announce follow-up arrangements within two weeks, it added.Zuo, 50, has been the driving force behind the company’s success, headlining the bell-ringing ceremony when it went public and holding 81.1% of voting shares under a dual-class voting structure as of end-February, according to its annual report. The company’s American depositary receipts fell 0.8% to $49.85 in New York on Thursday, paring an earlier decline of almost 10%.Zuo was backed by some of Asia’s most influential startup investors, including Hillhouse Capital Group and Tencent Holdings Ltd., and ranks among SoftBank Group Corp.’s most successful bets. KE Holdings almost doubled on its August U.S. debut, vaulting Zuo into the ranks of the world’s richest entrepreneurs with a fortune in excess of $20 billion at one point, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires’ Index.Its shares were up 151% from their New York debut through Wednesday’s close, conferring on the late chairman a net worth of $14.8 billion.In an interview with CCTV aired in April, he downplayed the significance of the IPO and the riches it bestowed.“Why should I feel excited?” he said, dressed in jeans, a dark blue vest and black sneakers. “This makes no difference to me.”Read more: Founder of China Property Site With No Profits Worth $20 BillionBorn in 1971 in Shaanxi province, Zuo graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Beijing University of Chemical Technology in 1992 before getting into sales and establishing an insurance business, where he made his first fortune, according to local media. He then founded Beijing Lianjia Real Estate Brokerage Co. in 2001, when China’s property market was still relatively young, and started Ziroom in 2011 to offer long-term apartment rentals. In 2018, he incorporated KE and launched Beike, becoming one of the country’s most celebrated entrepreneurs.Beike uses artificial intelligence and big data to improve its service and provide market insights, according to its website. As of June, the company boasted 226 million homes on its platform and 39 million monthly active users on mobiles. That’s swelled to more than 48 million mobile monthly active users and half a million agents.The platform also draws in others by allowing decorators, renovators and financial institutions to connect with buyers, creating an ecosystem of property and related offerings.(Updates with closing share price in third paragraph)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Nvidia sets 4-for-1 stock split, shares rise

The company's stock, which was last up at over $600 in premarket trading, has gained nearly 12% this year after its value more than doubled in 2020. Stock splits can potentially attract retail investors who make small trades. Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia said stock holders of record on July 21 would receive dividend of three additional shares after the close of trading on July 19, with the stock trading on a split-adjusted basis beginning July 20.


Taco Bell’s Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos officially launch today

Taco Bell officially launched its hotly anticipated Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos on Thursday, the day after fans revolted over expectations that the item would be available Wednesday.

The new offering was preceded to the menu by the Nacho Cheese taco, which has sold more than 350 million units and is considered by the Irvine company to be its most successful product launch in its 51-year history.

The run-up to the Cool Ranch debut was accompanied by a massive social media push and special events, including password-only previews for fans in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Taco Bell plans to market the item with its largest campaign ever, including a 3-D commercial set to play in many movie theaters across the country.

But on Wednesday, the chain drew the ire of the Doritos Locos Tacos’ most passionate devotees.

The chain had surprised aficionados earlier in the week by dubbing Wednesday as Fan Day and announcing on Facebook that the Cool Ranch product would be available to buy a day earlier than planned.

But after some customers showed up at stores to find that the tacos were nowhere to be found, they swarmed Twitter and Facebook to rail against Taco Bell.

Among the postings from disappointed diners was one who said he brought along 50 co-workers only to be rebuffed: “Epic fail.”

Taco Bell posted a mea culpa on its website Wednesday, saying it was “humbled by the overwhelming response to Fan Day.”

“We apologize to those fans who couldn’t buy it a day early,” the company said.


Insane Doritos Flavors Sum Up Everything Wrong with the Food System

Today’s Doritos&apos fans have a much different relationship with the corn chip snack than we did a generation ago when Original, Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch seemed like plenty of Doritos flavors to choose from. Nowadays, Doritos launches new flavors like they’re reality television shows—there are way too many of them, they’re all essentially the same and they all pretty much suck. I just counted a dozenਏlavors on the Doritos website and most are slight variations on other flavors--Nacho and Spicy Nacho, BBQ and Spicy Chipotle BBQ, etc.

The brand even stepped out of the bag with the Taco Bell Doritos-flavored taco shell using its best-selling flavors. But that&aposs so 2012. Consumers wait in anticipation for the next great mysterious move from Doritos…Now, the newest flavors aren’t really flavors at all. At least not ones with names.

Enter Doritos Jacked. This latest marketing gimmick recently outfitted Doritos’ packing with test flavor numbers rather than actual flavor names, designed to lure consumers into participating in the brand’s “taste experiment.” It offers “rewards” if you taste the chips inside the mystery bags and then vote for your favorite flavor. It reeks of the cigarettes rewards program that really just sucker you into smoking more tobacco. Jacked is nothing more than seeing how devoted Doritos’ consumers are. Would you eat a bag of chips if you didn’t know what flavor it was? Why do we give so much trust to a mega corporate food brand? Is indiscriminate snacking really all that fun?

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Doritos Roulette𠅎xactly what it sounds like�tures a smattering of super hot chips in a bag of otherwise not as hot Doritos. Oh, the anticipation each chip brings! They’re not yet available in the U.S. but it’s only a matter of time before this or another similar Doritos gimmick is available in your local 7-Eleven.

Frito-Lays&apos Doritos division has become a microcosm of the macro issue with our modern food system. In fact, Doritos Jacked and Roulette are both about as in-your-face-ha-ha-the-joke’s-on-you-dear-customer as you can get. Consumers are being suckered into gimmicks because of an unhealthy emotional relationship with unhealthy foodstuff. Tell me, Doritos! What flavor is it, you silly, delicious bag of chips! I just love you so much.

I&aposm no psychiatrist, but I&aposm pretty sure we&aposre not supposed to be that emotionally invested in our food. At least not unless we&aposre actually growing it ourselves. Otherwise, shouldn&apost we just look to find the healthiest options that we like the taste of? When we start agreeing to the games food brands proffer, we&aposre entering into murky waters filled with the jagged shark-like teeth of corporate interests.

The irony, of course, is that most food brands do this in a much more veiled manner. (What exactly is a Crunch Berry?) You could even lump the rampant misuse of the term “natural” into this devious practice. We’re being told foods are 𠇊ll natural” when they’re actually loaded with synthetic and genetically modified ingredients. It’s not only a jacked flavor experiment, but it’s also roulette.

Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting that sales of the Doritos Locos Taco Bell taco shell—which was the biggest product launch in the fast food chain’s history—have begun to drop. After the mega success of the initial launch, the brands teamed up again, but sales have never met expectations: “In the quarter after the company launched [Doritos Locos Tacos] in 2012, same-store sales jumped 13 percent. Then the Cool Ranch-flavored variety, which hit stores in March 2013, resulted in a smaller, single-digit sales increase. With each successive DLT launch𠅏iery DLTs last summer and this year’s Spicy Chicken DLT—the impact has diminished,” reports Bloomberg.

Even though the new Doritos flavors seem to be most appealing to a male youth market, schools are now banning snacks like Doritos from being sold on campuses, making it difficult for kids to access. And we can only hope they also start to lose their taste for this stuff.

We can also look at these deranged marketing ploys as what they really are�ts of desperation. Yes, Big Food may still be dominating our food system, but as the saying goes, the darkest hour is always just before the dawn. I&aposm pretty sure that applies to mystery-flavored chips too.


Cheetos Chicken Fries

Move over Doritos Locos tacos, Burger King has unveiled its latest snack-infused item, Cheetos Chicken Fries, which are fried and covered in Cheetos-flavored breading. After being removed from the menu in 2005, chicken fries were reintroduced in 2014 and have grown in popularity. Time will only tell if this new whacky mashup will also be a hit. (Rose Leadem)


Taco Bell menu items: Fast food chain goes upscale

Taco Bell menu items target the Chipotle crowd, with slightly more upscale fare complete with an endorsement from a celebrity chef. But despite the new Taco Bell menu items, the chain isn’t forgetting its loyal core customers – young adults on the prowl for a cheap late-night snack.

Taco Bell menu items may be helping the chain cater to a broader clientele. But don’t worry – it's not forgetting its core customer base.

The Tex-Mex fast food giant, owned by Yum! Brands, Inc., has announced its rollout of the new Cantina Bell menu, to hit Taco Bell stores next month. Conceived with help from Miami-based celebrity chef Lorena Garcia, the new Taco Bell menu items include a burrito and a “Cantina Bowl,” chock-full of ingredients like marinated grilled chicken, Hass avocados, corn and pepper salsa, and whole black beans.

Taco Bell has been market testing the new menu items since January, and a national rollout is planned for July 5. “Cantina Bell will introduce vibrant flavors to millions of Americans, all the while complementing the tastes of Taco Bell’s existing core menu,” Yum! Brands said in a press release.

“You’ll love it, or we’ll replace it with something you do. Guaranteed (but we’re pretty sure you’ll love it),” the Cantina Bell website reads.

The menu is a clear stab at competitor Chipotle, which dominates the Mexican fast-casual market. But Taco Bell’s prices are cheaper. Both the burrito and the Cantina Bowl – which come in steak, chicken, or vegetarian options – will retail at under $5, while comparable menu items will set you back about $8 at Chipotle (which increased its prices in June of last year). In addition to the two entrées, the Cantina Bell menu offers two side options: chips and guacamole and black beans and rice, each for $1.49.

In Israel, Arabs and Jews alike recoil from mob violence

The rollout comes after a good start to the fiscal year for Taco Bell, which helped Yum! Brands profits rise 73 percent in the first quarter of 2012 after years of lackluster earnings. The chain is also market-testing a breakfast menu in the Western US, with plans to expand to the East Coast later this year. But while all of this bodes well for the Taco Bell brand, its resurgence can be traced back to a single, baffling menu item: The Doritos Locos Taco.

Simply put, the Doritos Locos Taco, released in Taco Bell stores nationwide on March 8, is a hard taco with a shell made from the same stuff as a nacho cheese-flavored Doritos chip. A far cry from the simplicity and quality ingredients promised by the Cantina Bell menu, the Doritos Locos Taco, which retails for $1.29, is like something dreamed up by a mad food scientist and a creative six-year-old.

And it’s the most successful product launch in Taco Bell’s 50-year history. 100 million Doritos Locos Tacos were sold in the product’s first ten weeks. The Orange County Register puts that figure into helpful perspective: it took McDonald’s 18 years to sell its first 100 million burgers. Taco Bell plans to release a Cool Ranch version of the Doritos Locos this upcoming fall, and a Hot & Spicy version is reportedly in the works.

So while Taco Bell may be courting a new batch of ingredient-minded customers with the help of a celebrity chef, it’s nice to know the brand isn’t forgetting its loyal base: younger folks looking for cheap fare late at night, occasionally open to menu items best eaten on a dare. Taco Bell is by no means a part of my regular diet, but occasionally, after a particularly expensive Ikea run, or a long day where I can’t eat dinner until the wee hours of the morning, I’ll gladly dig into a bag of Taco Bell. What’s better, I’ll probably only have to spend whatever change I can scrounge from the bottom of my purse.

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And Taco Bell hasn't forgot about me, nor my late-night demographic. One of Taco Bell's newest menu items is the $.99 Beefy Nacho Burrito. Its marketing pitch is simple: Haven't you always wanted nachos you could eat with one hand?

My boyfriend and I once made a date out of trying the Doritos Locos Taco, on a mutual dare. We’ll probably do the same for the Nacho Burrito. And if Taco Bell’s sales figures are any indication, so will millions of other millennials looking for a cheap late-night snack. We’ll leave Lorena Garcia and her grilled chicken for the fast casual lunch crowd, but there’s room at Taco Bell for all of us.


Watch the video: Taco Bells Doritos Locos Tacos!! Nacho Cheese, Cool Ranch And Fiery!! Fast Food Reviews (May 2022).