Following on the success of the KFC Double Down, another restaurant in the Yum! Brands portfolio has wrapped a menu item in fried chicken. This time, it’s Taco Bell, reports Business Insider.
The chain’s $2.99 “Naked Chicken Chalupa” will replace the item’s wheat flour shell with a patty of crispy fried chicken pressed in a vaguely round, chalupa-like shape. It will be filled with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, a cheese, and avocado ranch sauce.
You can order a Naked Chicken Chalupa alongside a cool Mountain Dew Baja Blast as early as Jan. 26, when the item debuts nationally. It has been in testing in the Bakersfield, Calif., and Kansas City, Mo., markets for two years.
Taco Bell President Brian Niccol says that it was us, not them, who spurred the creation of this. In a comment, he said: “Fried chicken is growing at a tremendous clip. It’s a real void on our menu, and it’s something that our customers ask us for.”
Kat Garcia, Taco Bell’s Senior Marketing Manager, says customers perceive the item as relatively healthy in an interview with Buzzfeed News last year. “We were getting feedback like, ‘It’s so healthy. It’s so fresh […] That really surprised us, because it’s fried chicken.” (In 2010, the National Institutes of Health said almost 70 percent of Americans were considered overweight or obese.)
It is Taco Bell’s first foray into fried chicken, but probably not the last. Business Insider reports they are testing a kind of chicken nugget as well.