So much for thinking outside the bun.
Just like basically every other fast-food restaurant in existence, Taco Bell has officially entered itself into the so-called "chicken sandwich wars" with a new "Chicken Sandwich Taco" announced on Monday morning.
The chain describes the item as a sandwich/taco hybrid, made with a crispy piece of all-white-meat chicken which has been marinated in jalapeno-infused buttermilk before being dusted with "bold Mexican spices" and rolled in a tortilla-chip coating. Then chicken is then sandwiched in "a puffy bread, shaped in an iconic taco form," and topped with creamy chipotle sauce. The "spicy" version also comes with pickled jalapenos
The new items, which cost $2.49 apiece, will begin testing in Nashville and Charlotte on March 11. A nationwide rollout scheduled for later in 2021.
"Is the Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco a sandwich or a taco, you ask? Well, it’s a sandwich AND a taco," reads a press release for the forthcoming item. "And it doesn’t have to explain itself to be this delicious."
Taco Bell had previously hinted at the release of a new item specifically intended to compete against the many chicken sandwiches that have already been announced at major fast-food restaurants. In January, Liz Matthews, Taco Bell’s chief global food innovation officer, teased the mystery chicken item in an interview with Business Insider. She added that the offering would debut sometime in the following 24 months along with "all" of Taco Bell’s new ideas that were sidelined during the pandemic.
"I think a lot of players out there are doing a great job, but what I will say is that we will interrupt that with what we're going to do on chicken," Matthews told Business Insider.
Taco Bell’s latest announcement comes as even more restaurants prepare to enter the "chicken sandwich wars" and compete with the ever-popular Popeyes Chicken Sandwich. Among those preparing to launch their own new offerings (which all resemble the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich) include McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s. Even KFC – a restaurant also owned by Taco Bell’s parent company Yum! Brands – has expanded its newest chicken sandwiches to restaurants nationwide.