Taco Bell's higher New Zealand prices described as 'heartbreaking'

  • 12/11/2019
Taco Bell fans are heartbroken that the NZ store's menu is more costly than the American original.
The Taco Bell New Lynn menu. Photo credit: The Spinoff

New Zealanders dining at Taco Bell appear to be paying more than Americans for the same food and some are not happy about it.

However, the iconic US fast-food chain that opened its first local branch on Tuesday in Auckland' New Lynn says it "offers a competitive price point".

One affordable food fan has taken to Reddit with a table comparing the prices of Taco Bell menu items in US stores, those prices converted to Aotearoa's currency and the prices at the Auckland Taco Bell outlet.

According to the table, which is based on accurate prices at the time of publishing, Kiwis will be paying around NZ$1.50 - NZ$2.30 more per item.

For example, a Crunchwrap Supreme costs US$2.99 in America, which is NZ$4.70 using the current exchange rate. But on the New Lynn Taco Bell menu, the item costs NZ$6.99.

A Crunchwrap Supreme costs US$2.99 in America, which is NZ$4.70 - but in the New Lynn Taco Bell, the item is NZ$6.99.
The Crunchwrap Supreme. Photo credit: Supplied/Taco Bell

This price difference is labelled "heartbreaking" in the Reddit post, which also questions the 'fanciness' of the eatery.

"Taco Bell's whole thing is that it's fine for the money. Its meant to be cheap and cheerful," writes Reddit user Tedimon.

"An affordable fast-food Mexican option is sorely missing in New Zealand… but when you take the affordable part out?

"Tread carefully Taco Bell NZ... [these prices put] you are in fancy burrito price territory, and you are not fancy!"

However, replies to Tedimon's post have been quick to defend Taco Bell's price differences, with New Zealand's operating costs and tax differences to the US pointed out.

"This might come as a surprise, but they are here to make money not supply you with affordable food," one commenter noted.

Taco Bell has commented on the price differences, saying its New Zealand prices are based on New Zealand's Mexican food market, which is much less crowded than that of the US.

"Compared to the Mexican category and other QSR brands, Taco Bell offers a competitive price point in New Zealand," a Taco Bell spokesperson told Newshub.

"Our brand has always and will always continue to ensure that we serve craveable, innovative food at a value price point across all markets. We look forward to evolving our menu and offerings as our brand grows across New Zealand."

Taco Bell plans to open a minimum of 25 outlets in New Zealand over the next five years.