Mass Customization at Taco Bell

Mass Customization at Taco Bell

March 31, 2021

One of Taco Bell’s newest promotions is the My Cravings Box.

Taco Bell has offered a variety of $5 cravings boxes for several years, as part of its emphasis on value.  The items in the Cravings Boxes have changed over time.  Past offerings have included a Grande Nachos Box, Toasted Cheddar Chalupa Box, and Chalupa Cravings Box (to name a few.)

What makes the My Cravings box so different?

It’s customizable.

Not including beverages, customers can build their meal with 30 different combinations, by selecting from a choice of 5 specialty items, 3 starters, and 2 sides.

In order to customize the Cravings Box, customers must place the order online. There’s an app for that. Selectable items are part of Taco Bell’s normal menu.  Interestingly, it’s possible to create a couple of vegetarian combinations.


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This post is based on the Yahoo! Finance article, Taco Bell Launches $5 ‘Cravings’ Box as Fast Food Races to Be ‘Competitive on Value’, by Brooke DiPalma,  February 13, 2021; the My Cravings Box page from TacoBell.com; Continue reading

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Walmart and Target Search for Better Bags

Walmart and Target Search for Better Bags

March 25, 2021

The debate on paper versus plastic bags to carry your items from the store to home has gone on for decades.  Reusable cloth bags have been touted as an environmentally friendly alternative.

Paper bags are extolled as coming from renewable resources, and being biodegradable.  However, they consume more energy in the production process than plastic bags.

Plastic bags consume less energy in production, but are not biodegradable.  Moreover, much has been made recently about plastic pollution, especially in our oceans.  Incredibly, the United States of America is using over 100 billion bags per years, with approximately 1% of these bags being recycled.  California and New York have banned single use plastic bags.

Reusable cloth totes require more energy to produce because they are typically heavier and stronger.  To justify their use, they need to be used around 7,100 times to equal a plastic bag’s energy usage.  Unfortunately, most reusable totes never hit this target.  Additionally, reusable bags tend to harbor germs.  During the pandemic, many stores banned their use to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

So, there doesn’t appear to be a clear winner among today’s choices of paper, plastic and Continue reading

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Operation Warp Speed

Operation Warp Speed

March 15, 2021

Not since World War II and the Manhattan Project, has a project been so important to the world as Operations Warp Speed.  Its goal was to take a process that normally takes years to complete, and bring the COVID-19 vaccine to the world.

As a result of its importance, a public-private effort using many resources sped the development of the vaccine.  Under less urgent circumstances, vaccine development may take up to 10 years, billions of dollars, and have a high failure rate.  Several COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and made ready for distribution in less than one year.

A variety of tactics were applied to the problem.  One is the combination of private/government collaboration.  Additionally, the US Federal Government allocated $10 billion in federal funds to support the effort.

This money allowed organizations to apply funding to crash activities, in order to reduce completion time.  In many cases, activities normally completed in sequential fashion were completed simultaneously, or at least allowed to overlap.  For example, many phases of the clinical trials were overlapped to reduce time.

Also, with government funding, production of the vaccines began before the clinical trials had ended.  Under Continue reading

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