Taco Bell to offer more chicken to attract Gen Z

Taco Bell is looking to expand its menu options to adapt to Gen Z consumer trends – primarily by offering more chicken items.

Joshua Blanchard | Taco Bell
Joshua Blanchard | Taco Bell

Taco Bell is looking to expand its menu options to adapt to Gen Z consumer trends – primarily by offering more chicken items. 

While Taco Bell’s evening traffic matches its competitors like McDonald’s, its breakfast and lunch dayparts are significantly behind, according to Taco Bell CEO Mark King. 

“Our competitors have way more reasons for customers to go to them, if you look specifically at McDonald’s dayparts, coffee treats,” King said at its parent company Yum! Brands Inc. investor-day conference, according to Bloomberg

More chicken menu items

Taco Bell has not yet announced any specific new chicken items, but according to King, “chicken is a big one. Right now, a large percentage of our business is beef, and the Gen Z consumer wants chicken.”

Taco Bells’ current menu has three chicken items: the Chipotle Ranch Chicken Burrito, the Chicken Chipotle Melt and the Chicken Quesadilla, versus approximately 24 beef menu items and around 18 vegetarian. 

The chain is also looking to make the French fries a permanent addition to hopefully draw more consumers to “increase lunch dramatically,” said King, according to Nation’s Restaurant News

Breakfast will be year-round

“We’ve been in and out of breakfast for seven years. It’s time to commit to it. We are committed to closing both of those gaps and have big opportunities in just those two dayparts to increase business in the coming years,” King said. 

Alongside chicken and breakfast, Taco Bell implied that there could be more desserts and beverages in the future. 

Fun Fact

Taco Bell was the first fast casual chain to discontinue its kid’s menu in 2013 since its sales were not high enough and the company wanted to take the brand in a more edgy direction. 


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