Taco Bell creates a spicy advent calendar

The QSR makes it easier for consumers to enjoy everything from hot sauce to favourite meals at home.

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When visiting a Taco Bell, people tend to take a few more hot sauce packets than they actually need, so they can add a bit of extra flavour to something they eat at home.

With people a little less inclined to do that during a pandemic, Taco Bell is kicking off the holiday season by giving away advent calendars that have packets hidden behind its doors – and also make it easier to enjoy other of the QSRs favourites from home, too.

Starting today, the QSR is making 555 limited-edition calendars available through Shopify, containing everything from packets of hot sauce to Taco Bell-inspired pins to special offers on products like the Doritos Locos Taco, Crunchy Beef Taco, Fries Supreme and Party Packs.

The calendar, created in conjunction with Grip, contains illustrated images that combine festive symbols with Taco Bell, like a penguin skating with a taco in hand, or a cactus decorated in Christmas lights.

Though the offers are redeemable in-store, the calendar is a clear effort to connect with consumers that aren’t venturing into a Taco Bell any time soon. Instead of handing them out in-store, it is encouraging fans to order them online as soon as possible to ensure delivery in time for the holiday season, and all promos are also redeemable through Uber Eats.

Despite the pandemic, Taco Bell’s worldwide sales and same-store sales increased by 5% and 3% year-over-year, respectively, in its most recent quarter compared. The QSR also opened 45 gross new restaurants in nine countries.

Its ad spend has also gone back to roughly pre-pandemic levels after some reductions earlier in the year, balancing a need to manage costs in uncertainty with informing customers about the various options they have for patronizing the QSR. Franchise advertising and other services’ expenses increased from $113 million in September 2019 to $117 million in September 2020; from January to September, those expenses totalled $330 million, compared to $325 million for the same timeframe last year.