Taco Bell has a new menu item that puts it in competition with chicken chains like Chick-fil-A and Popeyes.
Taco Bell said it would begin testing its new crispy tortilla chicken tenders in Houston, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, on Thursday before launching the menu item nationally next year. Customers can try the tenders in a taco for $2, or get two tenders for $3 or three tenders for $4. They can also get them in the chain’s $5 and $7 boxes.
Taco Bell said it tested more than 100 versions of the chicken tenders before deciding on the final recipe.
The new chicken tenders are marinated in a jalapeño buttermilk mixture, giving them a slightly spicy kick. They’re coated in tortilla-chip crumbs and served with a new sauce. When Business Insider’s Kate Taylor recently tried the new menu item at Taco Bell’s headquarters, she remarked that the sauce’s flavor profile was somewhat similar to sauces at Chick-fil-A or Raising Cane’s.
Many fast-food chains are trying to find innovative ways to serve up chicken — whether it’s between two Popeyes buns, dunked in Chick-fil-A sauce, or dripping in Nashville hot oil — and Taco Bell is no exception.
With the addition of chicken tenders to its menu, the California-based chain is poised to compete with popular chicken chains like Chick-fil-A, Popeyes, and Raising Cane’s, which have all seen growth recently.
Raising Cane’s saw systemwide sales growth of 22.5% last year, making it one of the fastest-growing chains in America, according to Nation’s Restaurant News data. Chick-fil-A, meanwhile, reigned supreme as America’s favorite fast-food chain in a recent Business Insider survey.
However, Popeyes made more waves than any other chicken chain in 2019 with its chicken sandwich, which has dominated the scene since relaunching after initially selling out.
We can only wait in anticipation to see whether the Taco Bell chicken-tender taco will cause just as much of a stir.