FRY WARS: Taco Bell is bringing back nacho fries as McDonald’s prepares to debut cheesy bacon fries

Taco Bell’s nacho fries are returning to menus. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Taco Bell’s nacho fries are returning to menus as a cheesy loaded-fry trend sweeps America.

On Thursday, nacho fries are back on menus across the United States.

Taco Bell’s nacho fries debuted almost exactly a year ago, in January 2018. Instead of taking the classic fast-food route, Taco Bell tops its fries with a spicy seasoning and serves them with a side of nacho cheese.

Taco Bell Nacho Fries
Nacho fries are returning as McDonald’s prepares to launch cheesy bacon fries, setting up a battle of the fast-food cheese fries. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

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In May, Taco Bell’s parent company, Yum Brands, reported that nacho fries served as a significant sales driver for the chain, with more than 53 million orders placed before the item disappeared from the menu in April. Taco Bell’s same-store sales increased by 1% in the quarter when nacho fries were introduced. According to the company, roughly 25% of Taco Bell orders in the quarter included fries.

Now, the fries are returning at a time when a new cheesy-fry competitor is entering the scene.

On January 30, McDonald’s plans to launch its own version of nacho fries: cheesy bacon fries. The launch is intended to encourage customers to consider purchasing McDonald’s fries as a snack – instead of just as a side – and to boost the number of customers visiting the chain, according to internal documents viewed by Business Insider.