Yum Brands CEO on Dolly Parton's big Taco Bell request: Tune into Super Bowl

If Taco Bell parent Yum! Brands is bringing back the beloved Mexican Pizza (which yes, looks like a pizza but is made with Taco Bell ingredients), the company's CEO David Gibbs isn't tipping his hand.

"We get a lot of feedback about a lot of products and obviously it proves the strength of the Taco Bell brand. There is so much passion around the Mexican Pizza. I really can't confirm or deny rumors associated with that. I will tell you on the Taco Bell front they have an upcoming spot in the Super Bowl for the first time in five years. I would suggest you tune into that," Gibbs said on Yahoo Finance Live.

The suspense! Will the spot unveil the comeback tour for the Mexican Pizza? Unclear, but it's now worth not getting up to visit the bathroom when there is a break in the big game action.

IRVINE, CA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza remains a popular item and menu staple.  (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Taco Bell)
IRVINE, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza remains a popular item and menu staple. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Taco Bell)

Taco Bell removed the Mexican Pizza in 2020. But a major name is leading a charge to bring the popular menu item on: music legend Dolly Parton.

Parton —an admitted Taco Bell fan — told Insider in a recent interview she was a big fan of the Mexican Pizza.

"I think they should!" Parton said when asked about whether Taco Bell should bring the item back.

Even without Mexican Pizzas going through the drive-thru, Yum! Brands served up a solid fourth quarter of sales among its well-known brands.

Fourth quarter same-store sales rose 5% at KFC, gained 8% at Taco Bell and improved 3% at Pizza Hut. Profits did come in below analyst estimates as Yum! Brands battled through high levels of inflation in labor and ingredients, which took a bite out of the bottom line mostly at Taco Bell.

Here is how Yum! Brands performed compared to Wall Street estimates:

  • Net Sales: $1.89 billion vs. $1.88 billion

  • Diluted EPS: $1.02 vs. $1.09

Shares of Yum! Brands rose 3% to $128.72 in Wednesday's session as traders overlooked the earnings miss, and took heart in all three of the company's brands posting better than expected same-store sales.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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