Taco bout a bold move. Burger King is attempting to seize another fast food throne by expanding its menu to include a new, and rather out-there item: tacos.
The fast food giant announced on Tuesday that it is adding $1 Crispy Tacos to its menu nationwide in a move that sees it venturing out of its comfort zone and into new territory – but only for a limited time.
And while tacos might not be the first thing fast food fans think of when considering a Burger King order, the chain insists its crunchy tacos are more than match for other options out there on the market, revealing that it went as far as to test its latest release on locals in Austin, Texas, ‘to see if the new crispy taco has enough crunch to satisfy local taco experts’.
Get ’em while they’re hot! Burger King has released $1 Crispy Tacos in its restaurants nationwide for a limited time
Branching out: The tacos contain seasoned beef, shredded cheddar, crisp lettuce, and a savory taco sauce, according to the chain
Burger King also trialed the crunchy tacos in a number of its West Coast chains before releasing them nationwide.
Describing the new menu item in a statement, the chain shared: ‘The Crispy Taco features a crispy, crunchy tortilla filled with seasoned beef, shredded cheddar cheese and crisp lettuce, all topped with just the right amount of our savory taco sauce.’
‘We’ve seen success with tacos in our west coast restaurants and knew it was time to bring this west coast favorite nationwide,’ said Chris Finazzo, President, North America, Burger King Corporation.
‘The Crispy Taco adds variety to our snacking items and truly hits the spot.’
In a new commercial for the Crispy Taco, partygoers in Austin are seen testing the snack item on the streets of the city after a night on the town, with the chain setting up a taco stall on the side of the road to hand out tasty treats.
And despite many people noting that the restaurant was stepping out of its comfort zone – with one pointing out that the chain is called ‘Burger King, not Taco King’ – the majority seemed to enjoy the crispy snack.
Snack attack: Burger King has not said how long the snack item will be available for, however it has been known in the past to turn limited edition releases into permanent menu items
Controversial? The news of the launch received mixed reactions on Twitter, with a number of people confessing they weren’t overly keen on the idea of a Burger King taco
‘It definitely hits the spot,’ one person said, while another marveled at the loud crunch that the shell made when she bit into it.
However, the tacos received a much more mixed reaction on social media, with several Twitter users complaining that their crispy snacks were sub-par.
‘Imagine hating yourself so much that you buy a taco from Burger King,’ one person wrote, while another said of their experience with the Crispy Taco: ‘Where’s the meat? Worst Burger King taco ever. Stick to burgers.’
A fair few were still intrigued, even excited, by the concept, with one particularly excited food fan writing: ‘If they’re as good as the ones Wendy’s used to sell this is some great #TacoTuesday news!’
Another person who has already had the chance to try the Crispy Taco chimed in: ‘Seriously everyone just now finding out about #BKtaco? I [f*** with] those things so hard! If you’ve ever had a Jack in the Box taco, its the same.
‘It’s insanely fire. I’m so glad they back.’
According to one marketing expert however, Burger King branching out into the world of Mexican-themed fast food may well have little to do with an attempt to overtake taco giants Taco Bell, and more a bold move to generate buzz around its brand.
Testing, testing… Burger King revealed in its new commercial that it hit the streets of Austin, ‘a city known for its tacos’, to test the new products on locals
Surprise: Some people pointed out that the restaurant is called ‘Burger King, not Taco King’, but the majority seemed pleasantly surprised by the Crispy Taco
Clever move: Marketing experts pointed out that fast food chains will often launch limited edition menu items in order to keep people interested in the brand
Speaking to CNN Business, Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData Retail, a research and consulting firm, said that fast food chains often release limited edition menu items in order to ensure that customers are always thinking about their restaurants.
Meanwhile, Jen Kennedy, the VP of product marketing at Jack in the Box, told the site that the fast food chain had experienced ‘great success’ with its own taco offering, which she pointed out has been ‘a number one seller and a fan favorite for years’.
The Crispy Taco is certainly not the only out-there item that Burger King has released recently; earlier this year, the fast food chain experienced sell out success when it debuted a meat-free Whopper, using a burger patty from popular plant-based food company Impossible Foods.
Much like the Crispy Taco, the Impossible Whopper was originally released as a trial, however it proved so popular that the chain decided to roll it out nationwide – suggesting there may be a possibility that the
Meanwhile, in the UK, the chain launched a new haloumi burger on the same day that it announced the launch of its tacos in the US, after trialing the vegetarian burger option in Sweden before choosing to offer it up elsewhere.