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Taco Bell dives into the fried chicken wars with its Crispy Tortilla Chicken

Heidi Chung
Reporter

You don’t usually see Taco Bell and fried chicken in the same sentence. Well, that’s changing.

The Mexican fast-casual chain is officially testing out its new Crispy Tortilla Chicken in Houston, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, starting tomorrow before launching it across its stores in 2020. The innovation process took 100 variations of the recipe, according to Taco Bell.

It features all white-meat chicken that’s been marinated in a jalapeño buttermilk marinade and rolled in a tortilla chip coating. Customers can purchase the chicken separately or inside of a taco.

Taco Bell Crispy Tortilla Chicken (Courtesy of Taco Bell)

The new item will be served with Taco Bell’s new Creamy Chili Pepper Sauce. It will cost $1.99 for a taco, $2.99 for 2 pieces of chicken, $3.99 for 3 pieces, and will also be available in $5 and $7 boxes.

Taco Bell said in a release that it’s looking to continue its menu innovation following the enormous success of Nacho Fries, which generated $1 billion in sales.

Fried chicken and menu innovation have both played critical roles for fast-food restaurants this year. The unexpectedly successful launch of the Popeyes chicken sandwich proved that new menu items are the key to driving foot traffic and sales.

In early September, Taco Bell also launched the Toasted Cheddar Chalupa after axing nine menu items to make room for new innovations.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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