Taco Bell is launching chicken tenders in a move to compete with Popeyes and Chick-fil-A

Taco Bell Crispy Tortilla ChickenTaco Bell

Taco Bell has a new menu item that puts it in competition with chicken chains like Chick-fil-A and Popeyes.

Taco Bell will begin testing its new Crispy Tortilla Chicken tenders in Houston, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, starting Thursday, before launching the new menu item nationally next year. Customers can choose to try the tenders in a taco for just $1.99 or get two tenders for $2.99 or three tenders for $3.99. They can also get them in one of the chain's $5 and $7 boxes.

Taco Bell said it tested more than 100 versions of the new chicken tenders before deciding on the final recipe.

The new chicken tenders come marinated in a jalapeño buttermilk mixture, giving them a slightly spicy kick. They are also coated in tortilla chip crumbs and come with a new signature sauce. When Business Insider's Kate Taylor recently tried the new menu item at Taco Bell headquarters, she remarked that the sauce is somewhat similar in flavor profile to sauces at Chick-fil-A or Raising Cane's.

taco bell chicken fingersKate Taylor/Business Insider

Whether it's between two Popeyes buns, dunked in Chick-fil-A sauce, or dripping in Nashville hot oil, almost every fast-food chain is trying to find new, innovative ways to serve up chicken in their restaurants - and Taco Bell is proving to be no exception.

With the addition of chicken tenders to its menu, the California-based chain is now poised to compete with popular chicken chains like Chick-fil-A, Popeyes, and Raising Cane's, which are all seeing growth towards the end of 2019.

Raising Cane's is experiencing 22.46% systemwide sales growth, making it one of the fastest-growing chains in America, according to Nation's Restaurant News data. Chick-fil-A, meanwhile, reigned supreme as America's favorite fast-food chain in a recent survey by Business Insider. However, Popeyes made more waves than any other chicken chain in 2019 with its chicken sandwich, which is still dominating the chicken-sandwich scene after initially selling out and then relaunching.

We can only wait in anticipation to see whether the Taco Bell chicken tender taco will cause just as much of a stir.
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