When it added Nacho Fries in 2018, Taco Bell kind of proved that, even though it started with Mexican food, its menu has no real limits. When Yum Brands (YUM) added the fast-food burger chain staple to its menu, but with some unique twists, it told customers to expect some really wild innovations in the future.
Taco Bell has made good on this promise by making a taco with cooked chicken as the shell and by making Naked Chicken Chips, which are really just a way to sell chicken nuggets. If a menu item works for McDonald’s (MCD), Burger King, or other fast-food chains, Taco Bell seems ready to give it its own twist.
Taco Bell is always adding new things to its menu. This could mean a new take on a classic Mexican dish or a dish that combines different cultures and cuisines. Its newest menu addition, which has so far only shown up in its Canadian stores, uses a standard American ingredient in a lot of ways.
Taco Bell Goes Heavy on the Bacon
Most people don’t think of bacon when they think of traditional Mexican food, but Taco Bell has used it as an accent before. Canadify says that the chain is now putting the popular salty pork treat at the center of two new dishes.
“The new Bacon Grilled Cheesy Quesadilla has grilled chicken, three-cheese blend, and creamy chipotle sauce on the inside, and more three-cheese blend and grilled bacon on the outside,” the website said.
It’s a quesadilla with bacon wrapped around it. The bacon sticks to the bread because the cheese has melted. The business has also added Bacon Cheesy Fries, which are its Nacho Fries with pieces of bacon on top. This is its most American item to date.
“You can eat the Bacon Grilled Cheesy Quesadilla on its own or as part of a Bacon Grilled Cheesy Quesadilla Big Bell Meal, which includes one Bacon Grilled Cheesy Quesadilla, one Crunchy Beef Taco, one regular fries, one Cinnamon Twists, and a 20-oz drink,” Canadify said.
Taco Bell Keeps Making Menu Changes
The United States is unlikely to be the last country to get these two bacon-centric products. After slowing down during the covid epidemic, Taco Bell is now charging ahead with new innovations at a breakneck speed.
That has included bringing back regulars and introducing new things many times a month. In an effort to better compete with Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), the restaurant has also been experimenting with pricing strategies that combine its typical value-based offers with higher-priced goods.
CEO David Gibbs said this on the first quarter earnings call for Yum Brands.
Aside from the $2 burritos on the Cravings Value Menu, he said, “Taco Bell created customer buzz around crave-able product offerings that included the Crispy Melt Taco and the Grilled Cheese Burrito” this quarter. Taco Bell’s success in the big burrito market and its ability to compete at higher price points while maintaining value leadership are brilliantly illustrated by the popularity of the Grilled Cheese Burrito.
In the most recent quarter, same-store sales at Taco Bell were up 8%.