In a development noteworthy to connoisseurs of sub-par ethnic cuisine and the nocturnally inebriated, a group of former interns is alleging that Taco Bell stole the idea for the Doritos Locos taco from them, which they claim to have come up with in 1995. The interns were working with Taco Bell's ad agency during that period and are claiming they came up with the idea for using a shell created from Doritos chips as part of a competition with the agency. Given that the Doritos Locos tacos have generated $1 billion in revenue for Taco Bell since their launch in 2012, it seems remarkable that the idea didn't even win the interns the competition; the winning entry was a line of Taco Bell-themed appetizers called "Mexitizers".
Andrea Watt, one of the interns, has held on to materials related to the product that the team developed, including pictures and advertising mock-ups. The team even dreamed up an advertising campaign featuring future Mr. Sunshine star Matthew Perry. Watt says that she isn't looking for compensation, but she "would just like someone to recognize it was a good idea." Taco Bell issued a statement denying the claims, stating that numerous individuals over the years have presented themselves as the innovator of a similar product. An Air Force veteran and loyal Taco Bell customer created a Facebook page in 2009 urging Frito-Lay to create a taco shell from Doritos. And a prison inmate sued Taco Bell last May, claiming that he had come up with the idea for the Doritos Locos taco, in what can be considered a case of little standing and perhaps misplaced priorities. Not surprisingly, the suit was dismissed. And as the former interns are not currently pursuing further action, the world returns to being safe from hearing "Taco Bell" and "good idea" in the same sentence.