Taco Bell, which recently added its take on chicken nuggets to menus across the US, is now experimenting with french fries.
The Mexican fast-food chain is testing nacho fries in West Virginia and Bakersfield, California, executives told investors at the brand’s analyst meeting on Thursday.
“Taco Bell US has tested fries in various ways over the years, and no doubt would love to add fries to the menu as they are a high-margin, add-on item,” Nomura analyst Mark Kalinowski wrote in a note to investors. “Part of the idea is doing something that works well with the Taco Bell brand, which Nacho Fries seems to do.”
When news broke several months ago that an Irvine Taco Bell location was serving up nacho-inspired fries, Business Insider was immediately intrigued. Fortunately, a reader agreed to serve as a taste tester for us.
The Irvine Taco Bell location was selling seasoned fries alone for 50 cents, with the optional add on of nacho cheese sauce for 25 cents more. For $US1, you could order loaded fries smothered with all the toppings from the Nachos Supreme — nacho cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, and ground beef.
According to the tester, the slightly-seasoned fries are tasty on their own. However, once you add the toppings you run into problems.
“The problem with essentially using fries instead of chips as an edible vehicle for the Supreme toppings, is that the fries lose their crispness much more quickly than the chips,” the tester told Business Insider.
“Also, with chips you can scoop… these had to be eaten with a fork to ensure you got some of the Supreme toppings in each bite,” the tester continued. “This dish was a bit underwhelming and messy, with the seasoning of the fries getting lost under the sauciness of all the toppings, but for $US1, a great value and an easy add-on item for guests.”
So, perhaps it is for the best that Taco Bell seems to have doubled down on the nacho fries, and ditched the over-loaded Fries Supreme in current tests. The chain currently sells fries in most international markets — but has failed to make the menu item stick in the US.
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