Fried chicken lovers will welcome the Naked Chicken Chalupa which is scheduled to launch across the nation beginning January 26.  Taco Bell’s taco with a fried chicken shell passed consumer tests in Bakersfield, Calif. and in Kansas City, Mo. with satisfying results. While this new take on the taco is receiving plenty of buzz, Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer Marisa Thalberg says, “something this delicious yet different is bound to ruffle some feathers.”   


Perhaps this is because many of their customers like the existing menu just the way it is. This is reflective in their average sales of about $1.4 million annually. However, the fast food restaurant industry knows there are customers who can adapt to change. There is also a generation of millennials out there who not only welcome change but expect it. Restaurants stay on their toes with fresh, innovative ideas. This is healthy and necessary for sales and growth.


According to IBISWorld’s Fast Food Restaurants Market Research Report of Aug. 2016,  restaurants consistently have to strive to compete for each other’s customers, keep in step with consumer preferences, offer varied and healthier menu items, and do all of this while maintaining low affordable prices. These are not easy feats to accomplish but with fierce competition, it simply must be done for a restaurant to succeed in keeping customers happy.  


For a company whose slogan is to “think outside the bun,” they finally figured out that their competition is a fried chicken place.

Taco Bell’s slogan is “Think Outside the Bun,” yet interestingly enough, their biggest competitor is not McDonald’s or Burger King. According to a Taco Bell Analysis report, Kentucky Fried Chicken gives the restaurant its major competition. This could shed some light on why they decided to try a fried chicken taco shell. Many Americans enjoy fried chicken and KFC has been the go-to restaurant for fried chicken since its beginning in the 1930’s.  


Whether in direct competition with KFC for chicken lover customers or not, the Chalupa will make its debut by the end of January. The shell will be made of seasoned all-white meat chicken, and inside will be lettuce and tomato with an avocado ranch flavored sauce. It will sell for approximately $2.99 individually, and you can make it a meal for more value. The Chalupa will be available for a limited time only.


Will you be standing in line to get your Naked Chicken Chalupa? Let’s discuss here or on Twitter @lcarterwriter.