Taco Bell wants to stir up controversy with its entry to the chicken sandwich wars

Described as “fluffy like a sandwich, but folded like a taco,” the Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco featured all white meat crispy chicken marinated with jalapeno buttermilk, seasoned with Mexican spices and rolled in a crunchy tortilla chip coating. 

The menu offering is served on a warm flatbread shaped into a taco and flavored with a creamy chipotle sauce. Spicy lovers can add a crunchy jalapeno slice for an extra kick.

The Mexican quick service food chain will add the Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco to menus at participating locations beginning on September 2. It’s available a la carte for $2.49 or in a Crispy Chicken Sandwich Box for $5.49, which includes a Beefy 5-layer Burrito, Crunchy Taco and medium fountain drink.

Taco or sandwich?

Looking at pictures of the Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco, I’m not sure how to classify it. Sandwich? Taco?

I decided to ask friends and family for their thoughts. Some definitively ruled that it was a taco, while others decided the Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco reminded them more of a gyro or a flatbread sandwich. One friend pointed out that we really can’t decide until there’s a final ruling on whether a hot dog is considered a sandwich or not.

Either way, it’s sure got people talking. A Taco Bell tweet asking consumers to decide currently has more than 2.2 thousand likes.

The debate continues

Taco Bell knows a great debate when it sees one. The brand enlisted two college debate teams – the University of Georgia and Clemson University – to go head-to-head in four commercial spots during the Georgia vs. Clemson primetime college game on Saturday, September 4.

“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,” said Liz Matthews, Taco Bell's Global Chief Food Innovation Officer. 

"Even the masterminds from our test kitchen couldn't decide if it was more taco or sandwich, which is why we're excited to bring in the debate team experts to have some fun."

What do you think? Sandwich or taco?