Are French fries becoming the next battleground in fast food?
Fries have long been a staple on quick-service menus. But recently, the humble fried potato is undergoing a renaissance, with chains serving fries with a fancy twist.
Jack in the Box joins the latest frenzy. The San Diego-based chain has introduced three types of loaded fries, dubbed Sauced & Loaded Fries. Each fry is slathered in cheddar cheese sauce, shredded cheddar cheese and guacamole. Protein choices include carne asada, chorizo and chipotle chicken.
Jack in the Box’s fry-aissance comes on the heels of other quick-service chains introducing their takes on French fries.
Earlier this year, Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell introduced Nacho Fries on its Dollar Cravings menu. Within a few weeks, the Mexican-inspired chain declared the LTO its most successful new menu item. In the first five weeks, Taco Bell’s 7,000 restaurants sold more than 53 million orders.
Taco Bell’s success speaks volumes about the popularity of fries, an item born as a pairing to burgers. Now French fries are acting as their own entrées — from fast food to premium casual dining. Many family-style chains and food trucks have also created buzz with tater tot dishes.
Taco Bell’s seasoned fries come with nacho cheese dipping sauce and are expected to return to the menu this summer.
Arby’s, known for its curly fries, introduced Gyro Loaded Curly Fries in March. The LTO consisted of curly fries topped with tzatziki, gyro meat, diced tomatoes, red onions and gyro seasoning.
McDonald’s has also experimented with variations on its iconic skinny and salty fries in recent years. For instance, the chain has sold garlic fries in Northern California. The fries were a nod to Gilroy, Calif., known as The Garlic Capital of the World.
McDonald’s new global restaurant, on the ground floor of its relocated corporate office in Chicago, is selling loaded bacon and cheese fries. The item is found at McDonald’s restaurants in Australia.
Jack in the Box’s loaded fries are available, in-store or through delivery, until the end of July at all locations. Prices vary by location, but are approximately $3.
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