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Taco Bell enters the value meal wars with its biggest deal ever

New York CNN  —  This is the summer of fast food value meal wars, and Taco Bell isn’t sitting back. The chain announced Thursday that it’s entering the battle with one of its biggest deals ever. The “Luxe Cravings Box” is a collection of its four of its most popular foods, including a Chalupa Supreme taco, a beefy 5-layer burrito, a double-stacked taco, chips with nacho cheese sauce plus a medium drink all for $7 — a 55% discount compared to if all items were bought separately. The offer, which is on menus until September, shows that Taco Bell isn’t immune to the economic pressures facing chains, sparking the company to discount its menu items to bring back customers that are dining out less often and spending less when they do. Starbucks, Burger King and, new this week, McDonald’s have all released similar value-centric offers to lure back cash-strapped consumers and rev up spending ahead of their upcoming earnings’ releases. “We believe that fast food should be a luxury that every one can afford everyday,” said Taylor Montgomery, Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer. He added that its deal offers “full-sized favorites” compared to some of its rivals’ deals that have smaller portions. Montgomery told CNN that the “Luxe Craving Box” is the “most abundant” offer it’s ever sold and giving “consumers more than we ever given them before.” He declined to say if the new offering is being sold at a loss. In parent company’s Yum Brands’ most earnings report, same-store sales at Taco Bell’s US locations rose just 2%, a sharp decline from the 11% the chain grew compared to the same quarter a year prior. Like its rivals, Yum has been vocal that some of its problems stem from customers spending less on fast food.