Taco Bell has confirmed long simmering rumors: the domestic debut of nacho fries. An order will come with a cheese dipping sauce, starting January 25 -- and, for a limited time, they're $1.

Fast food companies always have to watch rivals, particularly as consolidation creates super competitors.

Taco Bell's parent, Yum! Brands, is far from a lightweight. But the pressure is always on and each brand has to succeed. When your faux-Mexican chain is among the lowest ranked in that sector according to at least one study, you need to do something.

A critical area is the dollar menu, as it's a major business driver. In fact, there's a reported impending dollar menu war coming.

McDonald's is bringing a variation back to its menus nationally with the $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu. For $1, you'll be able to get a sausage burrito, a cheeseburger, McChicken sandwich, or any size soda. At $2, your choices might include a Sausage McGriddle, Bacon McDouble, two-piece Buttermilk Crispy Tenders, or small McCafe drink. And $3 brings a Happy Meal, Sausage McMuffin with Egg, triple cheeseburger, or a chicken sandwich.

People have apparently wanted fries from Taco Bell, like a woman who called a Taco Bell worker 'racist' for not taking an order for fries. Although, why not just go someplace that sells them already? Like Taco Bells in Canada. Eh?

Hence the dollar debut.

Taco Bell has tested selling fries before. In late 2016, you could get them at one Irvine, California location. Last March, the company introduced a morning version of a dollar menu and also said in December it would expand the dollar menu from 11 items to 20. And sometime last year, two locations carried the Nacho Fries.

And so, fries come to the menu. Except, Taco Bell is still operating out of weakness. Ideally, you don't do exactly the same thing as a group of rivals. Instead, you find something of equal or greater value to the target audience. Like the Kit Kat-stuffed quesadilla introduced last October. Or not.

So, what's next? Burgers? Shakes? Fried chicken and waffles? When you want to climb to the top, you have to think outside the box. Or bun -- at least for now.

Published on: Jan 3, 2018
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