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'Mastermind' Behind Doritos Locos Tacos Dies At Age 41

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'Mastermind' Behind Doritos Locos Tacos Dies At Age 41

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'Mastermind' Behind Doritos Locos Tacos Dies At Age 41

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And in our last word in business today, we are pausing a moment to remember the man whose imagination sparked a billion-dollar snack food. The Doritos Locos Tacos.

One night in 2009, Todd Mills was eating Taco Bell when a Doritos ad came on television. Mills looked at his wife and said, how awesome would it be if this taco shell was a Dorito?

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

He later told the Arkansas Times, that's what prompted the Little Rock native to contact a Frito-Lay company. Frito-Lay wasn't interested. So Todd Mills took his campaign to Facebook. And Taco Bell took notice. The Doritos Locos Taco debuted last year. They sold 375 million tacos with total sale topping a billion dollars in sales through this year.

GREENE: Mills never asked for any compensation. But Taco Bell did make a small contribution to his health care fund when he was struck with cancer. Todd Mills died on Thanksgiving of brain cancer. He was 41 years old.

And that is the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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