I tried KFC's new chicken wraps, including a spicy mac and cheese. The new dishes should push McDonald's to get wraps back on the menu fast.

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I tried KFC's new chicken wraps, including a spicy mac and cheese. The new dishes should push McDonald's to get wraps back on the menu fast.
  • Chicken wraps are making a comeback at fast food chains like Wendy's and Burger King.
  • The latest to join the fray is KFC, which introduced two chicken wraps in early January.

McDonald's triggered buzz when it announced in December plans to bring chicken wraps back to US menus.

They better get their act together quickly: Three other fast-food chains are making plays in the space, filling a void left by McDonald's when it yanked the Snack Wrap from US menus more than seven years ago.

The latest to jump into the game is KFC.

KFC, which has more than 3,800 restaurants in the US, introduced two new chicken wraps to its menu for a limited time at the start of the new year. Last year, Wendy's and Burger King also introduced chicken wraps to their menu.

Business Insider reviewed the Wendy's and Burger King wraps and declared them a letdown.

So, I headed over to KFC last week to see if their new wraps are any better. I had huge doubts, as my last KFC experience left me with a stomach ache.

Here's what I discovered.

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On January 2, KFC added two new fried chicken wraps to its menu. It now serves five wraps for a limited time.

On January 2, KFC added two new fried chicken wraps to its menu. It now serves five wraps for a limited time.
KFC first began testing wraps in February 2023 for a limited time. Now, they have five on the menu.KFC

The two new wraps, introduced in early January, bring the total number of chicken wraps on the KFC menu to five.

The chain introduced a Spicy Slaw Chicken Wrap and a Classic Chicken Wrap to the menu for a limited time in early 2023. They returned to the menu in November along with a third wrap: the Mac & Cheese chicken wrap.

KFC promises an "unbeatable" deal with the new five-wrap lineup. It is selling them at 2 for $5.

KFC promises an "unbeatable" deal with the new five-wrap lineup. It is selling them at 2 for $5.
KFC is selling the wraps at 2 for $5.Nancy Luna/Business Insider

Nick Chavez, the chain's chief marketing officer in the US, said the chicken wraps are priced to "give your wallet a break."

With fast food prices skyrocketing, the 2 for $5 deal is a great value for two wraps. A single wrap costs $3, so you're saving $1 when getting two.

The KFC chicken wraps are also a decent size compared to the tiny Burger King wraps, which cost $2.99 each.

The Wendy's wrap, on the other hand, is much bigger, but it's also more expensive. It cost $6.69 when I tried it a few months ago.

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I first tried the Spicy Mac & Cheese wrap, which looked like stunt food.

I first tried the Spicy Mac & Cheese wrap, which looked like stunt food.
The KFC spicy mac & cheese wrap is one of two new chicken wraps added to the menu in January.Nancy Luna/Business Insider

KFC is known for crazy menu concoctions. Remember the Double Down, which used two fried chicken patties as buns?

Stuffing mac and cheese inside a tortilla is a strange combo, but also on brand for KFC.

The tortilla on this item and all the wraps looked anemic.

The tortilla on this item and all the wraps looked anemic.
The tortillas on the all the wraps were cold to the touch.Nancy Luna/Business Insider

The soft tortillas on all the wraps were cold to the touch and very white. I like my tortillas warm and with brown griddle spots, which give them a more homemade look.

KFC should tap the tortilla supplier for its sister brand Taco Bell (both are owned by Yum Brands). Taco Bell has great toasted flour tortillas that can be easily folded for bulky items like the Crunchwrap.

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Despite the poor-quality tortilla, I thoroughly enjoyed this wacky wrap.

Despite the poor-quality tortilla, I thoroughly enjoyed this wacky wrap.
The heat is sneaky on the Spicy Mac & Cheese.Nancy Luna/Business Insider

KFC gives its mac and cheese side dish a second use by stuffing it inside a tortilla. The creamy three-cheese blend pasta clings to the extra-crispy tender.

Some of the pasta shells oozed out of the wrap as I took a bite. I didn't mind, as that meant the portion size was on the hefty side.

Using the extra-crispy tender is a good call. The chicken tender is meaty with a great crispy exterior. It is much better than the thin, fried, pancake-like meat served inside Burger King's chicken wrap. (Wendy's wrap uses grilled chicken chunks.)

The spicy mayo on this wrap is sneaky. A dollop of sauce is spread on the tortilla. At first, you don't feel the heat. But the spice kicks in later and crescendos to the point that I was relieved it came lightly sauced.

My Honey BBQ wrap was delivered without the barbecue sauce, but it still tasted delicious.

My Honey BBQ wrap was delivered without the barbecue sauce, but it still tasted delicious.
My Honey BBQ Chicken Wrap came without the key ingredient.Nancy Luna/Business Insider

KFC describes this wrap as a soft flour tortilla stuffed with an extra-crispy tender, honey barbecue sauce, mayo, and crunchy pickles.

I took a bite and loved it. The combination of pickles and mayo made this a tasty bite. But I couldn't taste any barbecue sauce.

I unfolded the tortilla to get a closer look and realized they had forgotten the 'cue sauce. It was essentially a Classic Chicken Wrap, which is a fried chicken tender dressed with mayo and pickles.

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I returned to the counter and ordered another Honey BBQ Chicken Wrap to give the KFC staff a chance to redeem themselves. It worked.

I returned to the counter and ordered another Honey BBQ Chicken Wrap to give the KFC staff a chance to redeem themselves. It worked.
The second Honey BBQ Chicken Wrap order came with sauce. Nancy Luna/Business Insider

This time, I could see the barbecue sauce on the wrap.

But the added barbecue flavor didn't do anything for me. I liked the non-barbecue version better.

Later, I did try the Classic Chicken Wrap. It is essentially the same as the Honey BBQ Chicken Wrap sans the barbecue.

Later, I did try the Classic Chicken Wrap. It is essentially the same as the Honey BBQ Chicken Wrap sans the barbecue.
The Classic Chicken Wrap returned to the KFC menu in November.Nancy Luna/Business Insider

The Classic Chicken Wrap returned to the menu in November after a trial run at the start of 2023.

The combination of mayo and pickles was satisfying. I thought I was eating a burrito version of a classic fried chicken sandwich.

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The Spicy Slaw Chicken Wrap should be renamed the Soggy Chicken Wrap.

The Spicy Slaw Chicken Wrap should be renamed the Soggy Chicken Wrap.
The Spicy Slaw Chicken Wrap at KFC was drenched in spicy sauce.Nancy Luna/Business Insider

The next item I tried was the Spicy Slaw Chicken Wrap.

It was the messiest handheld fast food item I've ever eaten. And I've eaten a lot over the years.

The coleslaw was drenched in so much sauce the tortilla couldn't stay folded.

The coleslaw was drenched in so much sauce the tortilla couldn't stay folded.
The Spicy Slaw wrap should be renamed the Soggy wrap.Nancy Luna/Business Insider

The tortilla flopped open as I picked up the wrap, causing all the ingredients to spill out. The palm of my hand was covered in coleslaw.

I had to use a fork and knife to get a full bite of the slaw, chicken, and pickles.

It was not a good experience. I'm surprised this item is still on the menu.

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The Mac & Cheese Chicken Wrap was bland.

 The Mac & Cheese Chicken Wrap was bland.
The tortillas on the all the wraps were cold to the touch.Nancy Luna/Business Insider

This wrap debuted on the KFC menu in November. It was bland compared to the new spicy version.

Still, it's a fun item.

I recommend this wrap to kids or anyone who loves creamy mac and cheese but can't handle spice.

Overall, the KFC wraps were much better than I expected. They could spark another fast-food war once McDonald's finally brings back its chicken wrap.

Overall, the KFC wraps were much better than I expected. They could spark another fast-food war once McDonald's finally brings back its chicken wrap.
A closer look at KFC's five chicken wraps.Nancy Luna/Business Insider

McDonald's has not revealed when it will bring back wraps. But, during its investor conference in December, the chain said it would introduce a wrap that leans into the popularity of its Southern-style fried chicken sandwich, the McCrispy.

With a fried chicken wrap in the works for McDonald's, Burger King and KFC will likely be the chain's biggest rivals as they are also using fried chicken in their wraps.

This is a potential fast-food war in the making.

Snack food consumption is growing as many consumers are replacing meals with snacks. So, it makes sense that America's top fast-food chains are adding snackable items like wraps and wings.

So let's get moving, McDonald's. Bring on your new wraps before another fast-food rival beats you to it.

Are you a fast-food insider with insight to share? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at nluna@insider.com or via Signal encrypted at 714-875-6218.

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