February 03, 2017
Taco Bell is venturing into chicken, offering it to the menu... in a rather unique way.
The company, which is a Mexican-theme chain, will start serving the fried chicken shell chalupa, forgoing its flour or corn shell. The item is the company's effort to tap into the high demand for chicken while making sure it appeals to its customers and their desire for various food combinations.
Yum! Brands has experimented for years to come up with a fried chicken item the company could add to the Taco Bell menu.
Brian Niccol, president of Taco Bell, said fried chicken is rapidly growing, and the void on its menu was real. Customers have been asking for something that would give them fried chicken.
The National Chicken Council said it anticipates 91.7 pounds of chicken per person will be eaten this year - much, much more than the demand seen for pork and beef.
Shake Shack Inc., which is well-known for its burgers and milkshakes offered a fried chicken sandwich last year. It's become a top seller, and the company said it might add a barbecue version soon.
According to Russell William Bendel, the chief executive officer for the burger joint Habit Restaurant Inc., the company is also selling a Southern-style chicken sandwich, which has garnered a tremendously positive response from customers.
Fast-food companies are putting up a great fight to get customers to frequent their stores, adding pressure to get the most in-demand items on the menu.
In 1930, Kentucky Fried Chicken Colonel Harland Sanders popularized chicken when he started cooking for hungry, weary travelers at a gas station. Yum! Brands also owns KFC and said its sales spike 6% in the latest quarter.
Niccol said Taco Bell will offer its fried chicken concoction for $2.99, which it calls the Naked Chicken Chalupa. If it does well, the item will be permanently added to the Taco Bell menu.