Taco Bell menu adds new meat (and it’s actually meat)

The McRib, McDonald’s (MCD) – Get McDonald’s Corporation report strange boneless rib sandwich, has been appearing on menus since 1981.

Since then, it has been offered at seemingly random times and random places in the United States. It’s not always available; the chain offers it when the price is right for the meat used to make the sandwich. And its rarity has created a devoted fan base.

There is a website, McRib Locator, which helps people find the sandwich anywhere in the world. It’s a weird fast food phenomenon, but not unique. In recent years, various chains have used limited availability and unpredictable timings to get customers excited about various special menu items.

Some of these offers – like the Starbucks (SBUX) – Get the Starbucks Corporation report Pumpkin Spice Latte – occurs somewhat predictably with variations, while others appear randomly. For fast food fans, it’s a fun game that arouses huge interest. And every time a channel brings back an old favorite or tries a new one, the media covers it.

This is a Yum Brands game (YUM) – Get yum! Report Brands, Inc. Taco Bell played very well, and it’s back.

Taco Bell has mastered the menu plot

Taco Bell is changing its menu and bringing back limited time offers as much as any chain, maybe more often. The fast food giant has used its Nacho Fries as a sort of national version of the McRib. It pops them in and out of the menu seemingly at random while occasionally offering special versions.

Additionally, Taco Bell tried things like bringing chicken wings to its menu for just one week. This offering created McRib-level excitement, as it felt like a limited opportunity to try something unique.

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The Mexican chain also got a lot of attention for removing Mexican pizza from its menu during the pandemic and then triumphantly bringing it back.

Taco Bell, however, has another limited-time, limited-availability menu item that you may not be aware of. And reports suggest he just brought it back.

Taco Bell Welcomes Kalua Pork Again

While pork was a staple at Chipotle (GCM) – Get the Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. report. menu, not a regular at Taco Bell. The fast food chain has ground beef, chicken and steak on its menu, but it does not offer pork except in Hawaii and only during limited hours.

Kalua Pork has been offered occasionally at chain locations in Hawaii since 2008. When it appears on the menu, it is usually available as a protein throughout the menu. It was recently added back to the menu in Hawaii, according to several menu images posted on Reddit.

“Kalua pork is a smoked shredded meat. It’s the main dish and the most common food served at luaus and traditional Hawaiian parties,” according to Cooking Classy.

“It’s an age-old tradition that uses a rather laborious process of cooking a whole pig underground (this recipe just uses a cut of pork and a simplified cooking method to make it more realistic and doable for everyone).”

Taco Bell sources its meat from a local supplier in Hawaii, which may explain why it never offered the dish nationally.

The chain offered carnitas — another twist on pulled pork — at its Taco Bell Cantina locations. These are upscale restaurants that also sell alcohol. The chain has been experimenting with the Cantina brand since 2015, and menus vary by location.

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