Taco Bell is hoping to spice up the chicken sandwich wars by bringing back a popular chicken menu item. The Naked Chicken Chalupa is now back on the menu as of Thursday. The chicken meal was introduced in 2017, following Taco Bell's success with other chicken menu items. Taco Bell, which is owned by the same company that owns Pizza Hut and KFC, will also launch a new "Chicken Philosophers" ad campaign on Sunday.
The Naked Chicken Chalupa features all-white-meat chicken marinated in Mexican spices, rolled in a crunchy and crispy coating. It is loaded up with lettuce, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, and avocado ranch sauce. You can get the chalupa by itself for $3.49 or as part of the Crispy Chalupa Box for $5.99. The full meal option includes a Beef Burrito, Crunchy Taco, and a medium fountain drink.
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"When you look at the industry, you see the same sandwich being introduced as new everywhere, but at Taco Bell, being a follower isn't our philosophy. We've listened to our fans and we're confident this is the perfect time to bring back this fan-favorite," Liz Matthews, Taco Bell's Chief Food Innovation Officer, said in a statement. "The Naked Chicken Chalupa is just the beginning of Taco Bell's chicken offerings this year with more unexpected menu items being introduced at a later time."
The Naked Chicken Chalupa was introduced to customers' taste buds in 2017, two years after the Crispy Chicken Chickstar became a hit. Taco Bell also introduced the Naked Chicken Chips and Crispy Chicken Quesadilla in 2017 and recently added the Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco. The revived menu item will be highlighted in the "Chicken Philosophers" ad, which parodies how similar many fried chicken sandwiches are compared to the chalupa. Unfortunately, the announcement about the chalupa's reintroduction includes no mention of Mexican Pizza.
Back in 2019, Popeyes got the chicken sandwich war started when it introduced its own sandwich to compete with Chick-fil-a. Popeyes famously "sold out" of its sandwich, and other fast-food chains were inspired to update their chicken sandwich offerings. McDonald's entered the fray in February with the Crispy Chicken Sandwich and the Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Wendy's went the spicy route by introducing the Jalapeno Popper Chicken Sandwich. Burger King, which is owned by the same owners of Popeyes, is set to introduce a new sandwich nationally this year.