CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When one hears Taco Bell, you may think of a Crunchwrap Supreme or a Cheesy Gordita Crunch. Or maybe you're obsessed with its new, popular commercial featuring actor Joe Keery from Netflix's Stranger Things that turned its Nacho Fries into a craving horror trailer.
But now, Taco Bell is detouring a bit by entering the ongoing, fast-food chicken sandwich war. On March 11, the chain will launch its Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco which will be sold in Nashville, Tenn. and Charlotte, N.C. to start. A nationwide rollout of the item will debut later this year.
What's in a Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco you might ask? The item consists of a piece of chicken "marinated in jalapeno buttermilk, then seasoned with bold Mexican spices and rolled in a crunchy tortilla chip coating" served in a taco-shaped flatbread with chipotle sauce drizzled on it. They also plan to offer a spicy version which will have jalapeno slices in it.
"It's a sandwich AND a taco," Taco Bell told WCNC Charlotte. "And it doesn't have to explain itself to be this delicious."
In September 2020, Taco Bell revamped its menu which bid adieu to the Mexican Pizza as well as a few other items. They did announce a chicken addition called the Chicken Chipotle Melt which was available starting Nov. 5.
"Taco Bell is no stranger to crispy chicken after having introduced fan-favorites such as Crispy Chicken Chickstar (2015), the Naken Chicken Chips (2017) and Naked Chicken Chalupa (2017), which flipped the script on traditional chicken menu items," Taco Bell said to WCNC Charlotte.
The chicken sandwich wars date back to August 2019 when Popeyes launched its now-viral-sensation fried chicken sandwich. The sandwich didn't get famous immediately, but when Chick-fil-A sent a slightly antagonistic tweet, claiming its chicken sandwich was the original, the battle had begun.
Suddenly, lines formed outside of Popeyes across the country and their chicken sandwiches were sold out in many locations.
Even celebrity chefs jumped in to taste test and weigh in which was better.
Since that day, dozens of chain restaurants have jumped into the chicken sandwich wars, including KFC, Church's, Jack in the Box, Carl's Jr., McDonald's and Burger King. Some chains already had chicken sandwiches on their menus, but they started heavily promoting them to capitalize on the trend.