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Taco Bell (YUM) says new value menu may come soon

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Taco Bell says its new value menu may go national in coming months.

The fast-food chain had already said in January that it was testing a "$1 Cravings" menu that would replace its "Why Pay More" menu, which has tiered pricing.

In a call with reporters Thursday, executives at the chain said they're confident they've hit on the right mix of products for a national rollout this year. But they declined to specify a date.

The latest iteration of the $1 Cravings menu has 12 items, including new offerings such as Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadillas and a Beefy Nacho Loaded Griller. The menu is being tested in Kansas City, Mo., and Sacramento, Calif., the company said.

Fast-food chains have been touting their cheap eats to attract customers at a time when the industry is barely growing and competition is intensifying. McDonald's is emphasizing its Dollar Menu, and Burger King is highlighting more deals.

Wendy's, meanwhile, has taken a slightly different approach. The chain last year revamped its 99-cent menu in favor of tiered pricing that gives it more wiggle room.

Taco Bell is owned by Yum Brands Inc., which also owns KFC and Pizza Hut.

Copyright Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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