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Soda-orange juice combo added to Taco Bell menu

NEW YORK – Rise and shine. It’s time for breakfast soda.

Taco Bell said Friday it’s adding Mtn Dew A.M – a mix of Mountain Dew soda and Tropicana orange juice – to its breakfast menu, which was rolled out earlier this year at select locations, mostly in Western states.

Taco Bell, which is owned by Yum Brands Inc., announced the addition in conjunction with its new A.M. Crunchwrap, which combines scrambled eggs, cheese, a hash brown and bacon or sausage in a single tortilla.

The Mexican-style chain introduced breakfast, which it refers to as “FirstMeal,” at about 800 restaurants in 14 states earlier this year. The chain plans to take the menu national by 2014 if the test goes well.

A representative for Taco Bell wasn’t immediately available to provide details on the orange juice-to-soda ratio in Mtn Dew A.M., or how widely it had been available before earning a permanent spot on the breakfast menu. But the company said in a press release that Mtn Dew A.M. is mixed in restaurants.

PepsiCo Inc., which owns Tropicana and Mountain Dew, said the drink is available only at Taco Bell.

Although Taco Bell is looking to expand by offering higher-end options such as its new Cantina Bowls, the chain is also finding success by appealing to younger men who crave junk food. In the U.S. sales at Taco Bell restaurants open at least a year experienced double-digit growth during the second quarter.

Yum Brands attributed the boost to its new tacos featuring shells made out of Nacho Cheese Doritos.