Sunday, April 19, 2015

The genius behind the Doritos Locos Taco has passed away

Once in a generation, there is an invention or discovery that forever alters the path of mankind, like the internal combustion engine or the polio vaccine. For this generation, it's fair to say that Netflix and the Doritos Locos Taco are set to fight it out for the next decade or so (sorry, iPhone).

The genius behind the Doritos Locos Taco has passed away

Frito-Lay plans to roll out its Doritos in a "Taco Bell" flavor as a limited-time product this spring, aiming to capitalize on the popularity of the Doritos-flavored tacos introduced by the fast-food chain last year. (Photo: TacoBell.com)
Frito-Lay plans to roll out its Doritos in a "Taco Bell" flavor as a limited-time product this spring, aiming to capitalize on the popularity of the Doritos-flavored tacos introduced by the fast-food chain last year. (Photo: TacoBell.com)

Once in a generation, there is an invention or discovery that forever alters the path of mankind, like the internal combustion engine or the polio vaccine. For this generation, it's fair to say that Netflix and the Doritos Locos Taco are set to fight it out for the next decade or so (sorry, iPhone).

Sadly, though, one of the visionaries behind the creation of the Doritos Locos Taco, Todd Mills, passed away on Thanksgiving after a battle with brain cancer.

In 2009, Mills wrote a letter to Frito-Lay pitching the idea. Their response was, "Thanks, but no thanks," Ginger Mills said.

After receiving the rejection letter, he vowed to pursue the idea "from the grass-roots level," said longtime friend Jimmy Looney, who served in the Air Force with Mills.

Mills started the Facebook page "Taco Shells from Doritos Movement" in 2009, encouraging followers to "tell Frito-Lay that we demand nacho cheesy taco shells!"

He was good with Photoshop and created a number of images to support the idea. When Taco Bell decided it was going to run with it, the company flew Mills out to its headquarters and allowed him to be one of the first people to try the creation.

In an e-mailed statement, Taco Bell called Mills a "true friend" of the company. "We are honored to have had his support through the Doritos for Taco Shells Movement on Facebook, and we admire his strength and optimism during his recent battle. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Todd's family during this time," according to Taco Bell's statement.

Memorial services for Mills were held on December 2nd. Afterward, friends went to Taco Bell and ordered Doritos Locos Tacos. [USA Today]

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