Taco Bell is getting into the Great Chicken Sandwich Wars in the most on-brand way possible: The chain is set to debut a “sandwich taco” featuring the crispy chicken patties that have all but taken over the fast food world.
Taco Bell is known for its mash-ups that merge familiar formats and popular snacks (think Doritos tacos and nacho fries), and so a chicken sandwich that eats like its namesake menu item feels about right. The company describes its upcoming offering as marinated chicken coated in a tortilla-chip coating, served with chipotle sauce in a shell of “puffy bread” – it also comes in a spicier version with jalapeño slices. The sandwich-slash-taco (what, did “tacowich” not go over well with focus groups? And this from a company whose menu includes a “quesarito.”) will be available March 11 in Nashville, Tennessee, and Charlotte, North Carolina, and nationwide later this year.
The announcement comes as other chains are putting their chips on chicken. McDonald’s on Wednesday is set to introduce its long-awaited premium chicken sandwich – one that franchisees have been clamoring for to compete with Chick-fil-A, the viral Popeyes sandwich and other emerging competitors. And KFC, Taco Bell’s chicken-focused sister chain, this month upgraded its own version to keep up.
Popeyes’ market-altering sensation of 2019 clearly is the bird to beat, though. The company’s spicy sandwich had customers lined up out the door (and furiously Instagramming) when it debuted. It sold out, was restocked – and clearly, it still has its rivals’ feathers ruffled.