FRY WARS: Taco Bell is bringing back Nacho Fries as McDonald's prepares to debut Cheesy Bacon Fries

Taco Bell Nacho FriesHollis Johnson/Business Insider

Taco Bell's Nacho Fries are returning to menus as a cheesy loaded-fry trend sweeps America.

On Thursday, a faux-leaked memo from Taco Bell revealed that Nacho Fries will return to menus across the United States for a limited time on January 24.

To promote the return of the fries, the chain is giving away free Nacho Fries in 14 restaurants on Friday. Customers can check out the list of stores with free fries here.

Taco Bell's Nacho Fries debuted almost exactly a year ago, in January 2018. Instead of taking the classic fast-food route, Taco Bell tops its fries with a spicy seasoning and serves them with a side of nacho cheese.

Taco Bell Nacho FriesHollis Johnson/Business Insider

Read more: Taco Bell's nacho fries were the best new fast-food menu item of 2018

In May, Taco Bell parent company Yum Brands reported that nacho fries served as a significant sales driver for the chain, with more than 53 million orders placed before the item disappeared from the menu in April. Taco Bell's same-store sales increased by 1% in the most recent quarter. According to the company, roughly 25% of Taco Bell orders in the quarter included fries.

Now, the fries are returning at a time when a new cheesy fry competitor is stepping onto the scene.

On January 30, McDonald's is launching its own version of Nacho Fries: Cheesy Bacon Fries. The launch is intended to encourage customers to consider purchasing McDonald's fries as a snack - instead of just as a side - and to boost the number of customers visiting the chain, according to internal documents viewed by Business Insider.

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