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8 Big Changes You'll See at Taco Bell This Year

From new menu items to brand collaborations, this year already looks like a major one for Taco Bell.

Last year was a pretty significant one in the vibrant world of Taco Bell. The Mexican-inspired fast-food chain rolled out a handful of sweeping changes. Most notably, it cut the beloved Quesarito from the menu and also introduced its first-ever fully vegan entrée item, the Vegan Crunchwrap. And while we're still just a couple of months into 2024, the year ahead already looks like it will be another transformative one for Taco Bell.

Some of the changes slated to take effect at Taco Bell this year are great news for devoted customers, like a plethora of new menu innovations. Liz Matthews, Taco Bell's global chief food innovation officer, recently discussed some of these new items in an exclusive interview with Eat This, Not That!

Taco Bell fans can also look forward to new store openings, collaborations with other popular brands, and an emphasis on affordability with a new and improved lineup of low-priced food options.

However, customers may be less enthused about other major Taco Bell developments in 2024, like the recent discontinuation of not just one, but several popular menu items.

Read on for eight big changes that you'll see at Taco Bell this year.

Scores of new menu items

Taco Bell Cheesy Chicken Crispanada
Taco Bell

To say that Taco Bell customers will see a lot of new menu items in 2024 would be a grand understatement. In fact, executives from Taco Bell's parent company Yum! Brands revealed during a recent earnings call that there would be twice the number of new product launches in 2024 compared to 2023.

Taco Bell gave fans a preview of its latest menu innovations during its Live Más Live event in Las Vegas on Feb. 9. The items coming to stores include a new Cheesy Chicken Crispanada (which hit menus on Feb. 15), Crispy Chicken Nuggets, Cheesy Street Chalupas, Dulce de Leche Cinnabon Delights, a Cantina Chicken Menu, and Mtn Dew Baja Blast Gelato.

One of the Taco Bell's most popular limited-edition items of all time—Nacho Fries—will also come back for longer than ever before in 2024. Chief Marketing Officer Taylor Montgomery hinted during Live Más Live that the company is working on making Nacho Fries a permanent offering, though they haven't quite figured out how to do so just yet. Taco Bell has yet to announce exact launch dates for most of these items, so stay tuned for more details in the future.

Looking ahead, Taco Bell plans to continue exploring inventive flavor fusions and textures for other new menu innovations.

"Fusion has always been a thing, but I think there's just so much more interest from people to really explore interesting, complex flavors," Taco Bell's Liz Matthews recently told Eat This, Not That!

 I Tried Taco Bell's New Crunchwrap Supreme Kit & It's Beefier and Cheesier Than the Real Thing

More lunch-friendly options

Taco Bell Cantina Chicken Burrito
Taco Bell

Taco Bell is targeting the lunch crowd with its new Cantina Chicken Menu, a whole new category of food items announced during Live Más Live.

Slated to debut on March 21, the Cantina Chicken Menu includes five new options: a Cantina Chicken Burrito, Cantina Chicken Soft Taco, Cantina Chicken Crispy Taco, Cantina Chicken Quesadilla, and Cantina Chicken Bowl. All of the options feature a completely new type of chicken that's oven-roasted, shredded, and seasoned with savory Mexican spices. The menu will also introduce several brand-new ingredients to Taco Bell's stores, including purple cabbage, pico de gallo, a white corn taco shell, and an Avocado Verde Salsa packet.

According to Matthews, Taco Bell developed the new menu to cater to customers who've been clamoring for more chicken, specifically the kind of chicken that they can feel good about eating every day. She noted that the menu "can be great for dinner as well," but still believes that "it really will skew lunch."

More brand partnerships

Beekeeper Coffee Horchata Cold Brew Latte
Courtesy of Taco Bell

Brand partnerships will be a major focus for Taco Bell in 2024—and many of those collaborations will result in even more new menu items for fans to enjoy.

Taco Bell previewed several major partnerships that are in the works during the Live Más Live event. The standouts include a Cheez-It Crunchwrap that features a Cheez-It that is 16 times the size of the original cracker, as well as a Tajín menu that celebrates the salty, spicy flavors of the popular seasoning blend. Taco Bell also worked with the ready-to-drink coffee brand Beekeeper Coffee to create a new canned Horchata Cold Brew Latte. Plus, it plans to pair its Nacho Fries with the Serrabanero sauce from the Portland-based hot sauce brand Secret Aardvark.

Additionally, Taco Bell joined forces with the iconic Portland-based ice cream chain Salt & Straw to develop a new Ice Cream Chocolate Taco, an innovative spin on the discontinued Choco Taco.

Taco Bell has yet to announce when any of these collaboration items will hit menus, so stay on the lookout for future updates. However, Salt & Straw plans to serve the new Ice Cream Chocolate Taco at its own scoop shops this summer and make it available for nationwide shipping.

 6 Mexican Chains Where Chefs Actually Eat

More Taco Bell restaurant openings

Taco Bell drive-thru
refrina / Shutterstock

It's not just the Taco Bell menu that will get even larger in 2024. The chain also plans to expand its store footprint.

In August 2023, Taco Bell announced that it's on track to reach a whopping 10,000 restaurants in the United States alone "in the coming years." The chain already operates more than 7,200 locations in America, according to the Yum! Brands website, so customers could potentially see thousands of additional Taco Bell restaurants pop up in the future.

While the chain hasn't shared any details on exactly how many stores will open in 2024, it already appears to be growing this year as local media report on upcoming openings.

A sauce packet redesign

Taco Bell new sauce packets
Courtesy of Taco Bell

The Taco Bell sauce packets customers know and love will be getting a brand-new look this year. Montgomery announced during Live Más Live that the company will roll out new sauce packets later in 2024 with a refreshed design. Based on Montgomery's brief preview at the event, the new packets have either solid or gradient coloring, giving them a simpler look than the patterned ones currently available.

The new packets will also feature brand-new sayings. The phrase on Fire sauce packets right now, for example, reads: "On the count of three…" However, the new Fire sauce packets will feature the phrase: "Keep the same energy."

Customers can also expect to see two new sauce packet options hit menus this year. One is the Avocado Salsa Verde packet debuting alongside the Cantina Chicken Menu. Taco Bell also partnered with Mexican-American singer-songwriter Omar Apollo to turn his hot sauce brand, Disha Hot, into a sauce packet that will become available later in 2024.

 8 Best & Worst Tacos at Taco Bell, According to a Dietitian

A focus on value

Taco Bell Cravings Value Menu
Taco Bell

Alongside menu innovation, value is a major focus for Taco Bell in 2024. The chain kicked off the year by launching a revamped Cravings Value Menu on Jan. 11 with 10 items priced at $3 or less. Some of the options on the new value menu were already available at Taco Bell, like the Spicy Potato Soft Taco and Cheesy Bean & Rice Burrito. However, others were completely new to the chain, like the Chicken Enchilada Burrito and Loaded Beef Nachos.

"Value has always been at the cornerstone of what we offer at Taco Bell, but we knew heading into this new year we wanted to take it to the next level. As our consumers are looking for more ways to save, we're committed to expanding on our value offerings through new menu items and digital offerings that deliver quality and abundance," Montgomery said in a statement at the time.

When Taco Bell launched the new Cravings Value Menu, it also introduced a new Veggie Build-Your-Own-Cravings Box on Jan. to give more value options to vegetarians and flexitarians. The box allows customers to select one specialty veggie item, one classic veggie item, one veggie-friendly side, and one medium fountain drink for a suggested price of $5.99.

Farewell, old favorites

Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken Burrito
Taco Bell

While Taco Bell customers have plenty of new items to look forward to this year, they also had to say goodbye to some longtime fan favorites. In order to make room for the new items that debuted with the revamped Cravings Value Menu, Taco Bell discontinued the Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken Burrito, Beefy Melt Burrito, Fiesta Veggie Burrito, Chicken Chipotle Melt, and $5 Classic Combo.

Taco Bell fans took the loss of the Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken Burrito especially hard, since many thought it was one of the best options on the menu overall.

"I just need to mourn for a minute," a fan lamented in response to the news on Reddit.

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Collaborations with emerging chefs

Taco Bell TBX emerging chefs
Courtesy of Taco Bell

In yet another major development unveiled during Live Más Live, Taco Bell just kicked off a brand-new program called TBX that connects the company with emerging talented chefs. Through this program, Taco Bell wants to shine a light on culinary talent and use the chefs' insights to bring new flavors and inspiration to its own menu. And according to the company, the chefs who are chosen may have the chance to co-create new menu items.

Taco Bell has already selected three chefs to launch the programJennifer Hwa Dobbertin, who owns the restaurant Best Quality Daughter in San Antonio; Reuben Asaram, who owns Reuby in Philadelphia; and Lawrence Smith, who owns Chitle in Phoenix.

All three will get the chance this year to co-create a new spin on the classic Crunchwrap Supreme, and their reimagined versions will debut at select Taco Bell locations later in 2024.

"I think it's going to be interesting and it's going to be obviously delicious whatever happens, so I'm looking forward to it," Matthews said of the collaboration to Eat This, Not That! "I do think they have such different perspectives and they're all great chefs, so I think we're going to see some good stuff come of it."

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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