Taco Bell menu brings back spicy fan favorites nationwide

Taco Bell customers never know exactly what to expect when they visit the chain. That's because the menu changes regularly and every time you stop in there might be something different or an old favorite might make a return appearance.

In recent years, the Yum Brands (YUM) chain has also pushed the edges of what customers can expect from what has traditionally been a Mexican menu. That has included adding french fries and chicken nuggets — two items that it has borrowed from fast-food burger chains.

Related: Owner of popular fast-food chain files Chapter 11 bankruptcy (again)

Taco Bell has also been incredibly inventive when it comes to its core menu. That started with the Doritos Locos Taco, a product that has led to countless spinoffs that have given the chain endless attention.

And while Taco Bell has received a lot of media attention for its wackier innovations like its taco that used fried chicken as its shell, its bread and butter has been adding new twists to its classic menu items. That might mean adding a new sauce, a different topping, or playing with variations of its classic taco shell.

Now, the chain has brought back a number of fan-favorite menu items that offer a novel twist on some of its classic menu items.

Taco Bell has regularly added special variants of its classic taco shells.

Image source&colon Taco Bell

Taco Bell brings back chicken nuggets

Taco Bell has no set schedule for when it brings back popular menu items. Unlike McDonald's which has items like the Shamrock Shake which comes back around the same time each year, the chain keeps people guessing.

That makes it especially exciting when the chain brings back a fan favorite that customers have regularly requested on social media. In this case, Taco Bell has shared that it is bringing back a menu item few people ever expected it to offer,

The chain has decided to roll out its Crispy Chicken Nuggets nationwide after testing them in select markets in Fall 2023.

Taco Bell shared the news in a press release about its upcoming 2024 menu items.

"That's right! Taco Bell is bringing yet another chicken innovation in Crispy Chicken Nuggets, which consists of all-white meat chicken marinated in spiced jalapeño buttermilk before being breaded in a tortilla coating and fried to crispy glory," The company shared.

Wendy's marketed its chicken nuggets as "Crispy Nuggets" when the chain first introduced them in the 1980s. Taco Bell will put a slight Mexican spin on the classic fast-food dish that's associated with burger chains like McDonald's and Wendy's.   

"Fans can choose from two new delectable sauce options: signature Bell sauce, crafted with tomatoes, red chiles, onion, and garlic, or the hot and sweet Jalapeño Honey Mustard, featuring sweet honey mustard with a kick of jalapeño," the company shared.

Taco Bell has been growing

Yum Brands CEO David Gibbs raved about Taco Bell during his company's third-quarter earnings call.

"Taco Bell is in a class of its own in the domestic QSR category as a culturally iconic brand and clear leader in value perception with the most crave-worthy food in the industry. Taco Bell has unmatched menu flexibility, exceptional pricing power, industry-leading unit economics, and world-class franchise partners," he shared.

Globally Taco Bell deliverd 11% system sales growth in Q3, led by 8% same-store sales growth and 5% unit growth. At Taco Bell U.S., system sales grew 11% with 8% same-store sales growth and 3% unit growth.

In the coming year, while it's not reflected with the Lava Menu, Taco Bell plans to lean heavily in expanding beyond beef.

"A key component of the magic formula is mass occasions, the brand's personal expression of building new category entry points. One such example is the growth in chicken offerings, which the team plans to further expand with the launch of its Cantina menu," he added.

Taco Bell has also leaned into improving and expanding its loyalty program.

"Another component of this brand's success is digital, which includes loyalty. While at Taco Bell, loyalty customer already spends 40% more per year than a traditional customer, the consumer feedback we've received indicates that we can do an even better job at creating more obvious and exciting ways to both earn and redeem rewards," Gibbs shared.


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