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Latest Salvo in Chicken Wars Includes Taco Bell Hybrid Item

Taco bell is no stranger to unusual combinations (think Naked Chicken Chalupa, Doritos Locos Tacos), but its latest might take the cake.

The chain is launching a Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco on September 2. The item has fluffy flatbread “shell” like a sandwich, but is folded like a taco, and contains crispy chicken marinated in jalapeno buttermilk.

To help tackle the debate of whether the new menu item is a taco or a sandwich, the brand has enlisted two real college debate teams from the University of Georgia and Clemson University to go head-to-head as ‘Team it’s a Sandwich’ and ‘Team it’s a Taco’. The debate will air on Saturday, September 4, during the Georgia-Clemson primetime football game on ABC.

Said Liz Matthews, Taco Bell’s global chief food innovation officer in a press release:

“Our new crispy chicken innovation is far from the average chicken sandwich, and we’re certain it will get a spicy reaction from sandwich and taco fans alike.”

Taco Bell’s new addition is the most recent launch from a big chain in the so-called chicken sandwich wars, which seemed to be dying out in recent months. Back in February, in the height of the chicken wars, The Food Institute spoke to Technomic’s senior research manager of menu, Lizzy Freier, and got her thoughts on the future.

“While I think chicken sandwiches aren’t going away anytime soon, and will probably remain very popular, I think that the hype around these items will fade unless operators really start to level up,” she said. “Going towards that idea of differentiating themselves in the market with a new sauce type, or global condiment, or something else in that realm.”

Taco Bell is certainly differentiating itself with the Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco. So, could the chicken sandwich wars be reigniting? Stay tuned…