Promotions for Taco Bell's "New Grilled Steak Taco" have been so successful that the restaurant chain has doubled its sale of beef products this year.

The promotions included a beef checkoff-funded partnership that extended the promotion and further increased sales.

Taco Bell sold 12.3 million pounds of steak products in 2000 and by July, 2001, had sold more than 12.5 million pounds of the new Grilled Steak Taco product. As steak demand doubles at the restaurant level, Taco Bell plans on fulfilling consumers' craving for quality steak with its partnership with the beef checkoff. The program is being coordinated on behalf of the Cattlemen's Beef Board and state beef councils by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

In the initial promotion in February 2001, Taco Bell introduced the new menu item, at approximately 7,000 restaurants nationwide. The four-week promotion sold more than 2 million pounds of beef, in the first two weeks, and included only a modest checkoff investment. The product, made with marinated steak strips, now is a permanent menu item at Taco Bell.

Because of its popularity, a new round of promotion was launched for July and August, extending beef's national advertising presence by six weeks. During the second round, Taco Bell sold 28,835,920 Grilled Steak Tacos. This equals 2,703,368 pounds of steak--for tacos only. Including other menu items, more than 3 million pounds of steak were sold in the six weeks.

As part of the partnership, the "Beef Check" logo is appearing on Grilled Steak Taco promotional materials, including the national television commercial.

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