Who was really behind the insanely populr Doritos Locos Tacos?
Andrea Watt, Roy Brown and Mark Rader claim Taco Bell's insanely successful Doritos Locos Tacos (pictured above, behind current Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed) were pretty much their idea … and they pitched the product to the company's executives nearly 20 years ago.
The Huffington Post reports that Watt (then Simkins), Brown and Rader (along with a fourth intern) came up with the "Dorito Taco" in 1995, when they were tasked with developing a new menu item for a competition during their summer internship with Taco Bell. More interestingly, photographic proof of their project seems to be available.
— Laura Fitzpatrick (@BitzOfFitz) April 8, 2014
“We were brought in, I’m sure, because they were really going after 18 to 24-year-olds," said Rader. "We thought, 'Hell yeah, I know a 20-year-old kid who is going to eat a Dorito taco.'"
And eat them they would, as Taco Bell's three Doritos Locos Tacos have earned the restaurant over $1 billion since their launch in 2012, the Huffington Post reports. Yet, ironically, this particular team of interns didn't even win that summer competition, losing to a group of interns who pitched a line of appetizers called "Mexitizers."
"I remember being mad we didn’t win because I thought we had the best product," said teammate Roy Brown.
And Watt, herself, insists that she's not looking for any money from Taco Bell; she merely wants a bit of credit. "I’m sure I signed away that anything I pitched to them was their property anyway," she told the Huffington Post. "I would just like someone to recognize that it was a good idea."
Taco Bell, on the other hand, has already told ABC News that they aren't likely to recognize the team as the product's inventors, despite the evidence they presented in the following clip:
"From interns to inmates, we've had no shortage of people claiming to have thought of the 'idea' of a Doritos-flavored taco," Taco Bell said in their statement to ABC, claiming that the idea was "conceived, developed, and successfully brought to market" by Frito-Lay and Taco Bell.