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Burger King Menu Borrows From a Taco Bell Classic

Taco Bell deserves credit for opening up fast-food menus to out-of-the-box innovations. Before the chain released its Doritos Locos Tacos in 2012, fast-food innovation tended to be either making minor tweaks to existing products (like adding barbecue sauce and onions to a burger) or going full-on wacky by adding a menu item that wasn’t expected.

It has largely been proven that nobody wants McDonald’s (MCD) – Get Free Report to sell pizza or spaghetti. In addition, gimmicks like Restaurant Brands International (QSR) – Get Free Report Burger King offering “Dinner Baskets,” meals you ordered at the counter that were delivered to your table, were also failures.

DON’T MISS: Taco Bell Menu Adds Two New Takes On a Modern Classic

The 80s, 90s, and 2000s featured a lot of fast-food innovation, but Yum Brands (YUM) – Get Free Report Taco Bell changed the game in 2012 with the Doritos Locos Taco. It might seem like a minor innovation — making a taco shell out of a popular snack chip — but it was an idea that had never been done before.

Doritos Locos Tacos were a smash hit. The chain sold over 100 million of the new product in its first few months. That’s something Bon Appetit’s Sam Dean wrote about at the time. 

“That’s 10 million per week, which, given that the United States has about 310 million people, means that if you were at any gathering of at least 31 people in the past two and a half months, there’s a one in seven chance that someone in that room had eaten a Taco Bell taco with a shell made of Doritos that day,” he wrote.

And, while it seems like a gimmick, the Doritos Locos Taco remains a huge seller for the chain. It also has spun off countless sequels from Taco Bell and a lot of imitators from rival chains. Now, Burger King has its own deal with PepsiCo (PEP) – Get Free Report for its very own Doritos product.

Taco Bell has sold over a billion Doritos Locos Tacos.

Image source: Taco Bell

Burger King Puts Doritos Chicken Fries On Its U.K. Menu      

Burger King has experimented with snack foods in the past. Its Mac ‘N Cheetos fried macaroni and cheese balls coated in Cheeto dust were a minor hit, although they have not been brought back.

The chain did, however, offer a Cheeto-based version of its famous Chicken Fries in 2020. Now, Burger King has something entirely new, but it’s only being offered in the United Kingdom, Doritos Chilli Heatwave Chicken Fries.

“Doritos Chilli Heatwave Chicken Fries are made with 100 percent juicy chicken breast, breaded with crushed Doritos tortilla chips to create a crunch, and dusted with bold Doritos Chilli Heatwave,” Chew Boom reported. “While prices may vary, an order of six Doritos Chilli Heatwave Chicken Fries is priced at £5.39, or about $6.65 US dollars.”

Burger King has steadily tried different variations of its Chicken Fries in the United States. The company often uses the United Kingdom and Canada as test markets before bringing an item to the United States, but whether that happens depends upon sales, and whether the company can make a licensing deal with Pepsi for the U.S.   

Burger King Tries to “Reclaim the Flame”

Burger King has committed to a multi-year “Reclaim the Flame” initiative where it will spend $400 million between advertising and helping franchisees make changes over the next two years.

“As a reminder, the short-term portion of the investment targets restaurant technology, like indoor digital menu boards, point of sale systems, and printers, and is matched dollar for dollar by participating franchisees who are investing in upgrading kitchen equipment such as toasters and fryers, as well as property improvements like parking lot repairs and lighting,” Restaurant Brands International CEO Josh Kobza said during his company’s first-quarter earnings call.

The chain has also been focusing on its menu including adding new items and offering compelling deals.

“Our top line performance this quarter was driven by communication of Burger King’s most important equity, the Whopper. Compelling value initiatives, including the $5 your way meal, [have resulted in] over 30% growth in digital sales and benefits from strategic pricing,” he added.

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