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McDonald's Adds a Taco Bell Favorite to Its Menu

TheStreet logo TheStreet 2/16/2022 TheStreet Staff

When McDonald's veers away from variations on hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and varying kinds of chicken chunks, it tends to fail.

McSpaghetti still exists in some global markets as does McPizza, but both failed spectacularly in the U.S.

The fast-food giant has some items on its global menus that cater to local tastes but wouldn't make sense for a broad U.S. release. In other cases, McDonald's tries menu items outside the U.S. that play off of how the world views Americans.

That has led to the creation of the Chicago company's newest menu items. These new McTreats borrow from an American culinary tradition that's well-known globally. And while these new items offer direct competition to Yum Brands' Taco Bell, some of them also offer a uniquely McDonald's take.

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McDonald's Goes Southwest

Americans love Tex-Mex food. Nachos and fajitas have become favorite menu items not just at dedicated restaurants for that particular fare but at nearly every sports bar. It's hard to find a basic restaurant in the U.S. that does not offer a take on nachos, and now you can add McDonald's to that list -- but not in the U.S.

The fast-food chain has added nachos and a whole menu built around Tex-Mex favorites to its menu in Spain.

"The amazing Tex-Mex flavor comes to our restaurants with the incredible Grand McExtreme Nachos: delicious sauce of cheddar cheese, tomato, onion, double meat, and nachos inside the burger," the company wrote on the McDonald's Spain website (translated from Spanish).


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In addition to the nachos-inspired burger, the new menu includes a number of other items, Brand Eating reported.

"McDonald's Nachos are your basic nachos with tortilla chips topped with nacho cheese sauce. It's joined by McShaker Fries and the new Grand McExtreme Nachos burger. McShaker Fries feature McDonald's signature fries served with a packet of cheese seasoning and a bag so you can combine and shake them to distribute the seasoning," according to the website.

Might McDonald's Bring Nachos to the U.S.?

McDonald's has tried a variety of burritos on its menu both for breakfast and on its lunch/dinner menu. The company also briefly tried selling fajitas, according to EatThis.com.

"McDonald's sold its own version of the popular dish in 1993. The fajitas included chicken, cheese, red and green bell peppers, and diced onions in a flour tortilla (with mild and spicy Picante sauce packets available upon request). McDonald's commercial claimed one bite of their chicken fajitas was like 'a taste of Mexico… without the sunburn,'" the website said.

That item failed quickly (as do most new items introduced to the McDonald's menu).

Nachos, however, might be a better fit than fajitas because they require fairly little prep and require only two new ingredients: the actual nacho chips and a nacho cheese sauce.

Both of those ingredients, as we have seen on the menu in Spain, are also very versatile. Chips and nacho cheese sauce can go in burgers and the cheese sauce can be used with fries.

This may be McDonald's taking a page out of the Taco Bell playbook. But that's not unprecedented as Taco Bell actually sells fries (at least sometimes).

Nachos might be starting in Spain, but it's not unreasonable to think that these items -- at least some of them -- might eventually make their way to U.S. menus.

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This article was originally published by TheStreet.
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