For countless years, Taco Bell has been a fan favorite among fast food lovers. Millions of people love Mexican-style tacos, burritos, and various other menu items. However, even though the food is one of the main draws, customers go back time and time again because Taco Bell is known for its low prices. Only now, the restaurant is raising its menu prices, along with making changes to the menu’s content. Needless to say Americans are not happy about it.

Cheapest Fast Food

Over the years fast food chains everywhere have slowly raised their prices. Despite the trend  Taco Bell has remained the cheapest of the bunch.

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Faithful customers bank on filling up their bellies for less than $5, from $0.79 tacos to burritos for less than $3, and combo meals for less than $4. Taco Bell was known for being affordable enough for everyone.

Prices May Still Be Substantially Lower

In today’s economy, anything priced under $2 certainly catches the eye as a bargain. However, it’s important to note that menu items tend to be on the smaller size if they come with that price tag.

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Some may contend that even when buying multiple items on the menu from Taco Bell the total will still be lower than say McDonalds. These days the once cost effective fast food restaurant now charges a whopping $18 for a Big Mac meal.

Can’t Avoid Inflation

Sadly, just like everywhere else, Taco Bell has finally fallen victim to the never ending inflation in the United States. The chain has been forced to increase its prices across the board, although some are more of a shock than others.

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From here forward the only Taco Bell menu item less than $1 is the Cheesy Roll-Up. The Spicy Potato Soft Taco and Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito are both only $1.19 each, but the Double Stacked Taco now costs $1.99.

A Big Change

Taco Bell has also made an announcement that changes to the prices won’t be the only change, it will also be adding new items, including the Avocado Verde Salsa.

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The shocking aspect of this new salsa is that while you will get the first packet free with certain menu items, extras will be $0.23 each.

Americans Are Struggling To Afford Fast Food

Although $0.20 doesn’t seem like a lot, with increasing pricing across the board, many low-income Americans are finding it difficult to afford fast food.

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According to a survey, about 25% of Americans making less than $50,000 a year reported that they are eating less fast food to save money for the things they actually need, such as groceries, rent and other monetary needs.

Unphased By Possible Loss Of Entire Market

Despite all of this it doesn’t seem that fast food companies are too concerned with the possibility of losing the low-income market.

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Price increases may just simply be out of necessity for fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell, as they try to cover the increased cost of food, building rental, and employee wages.

Bigger Changes

The majority of fast food chains are keeping their menus the same, just with higher price tags. Taco Bell, however, has decided to make even bigger changes to appeal to the new market.

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Essentially, since their prices will be higher now, Taco Bell thinks that adding new menu items will make their menu more attractive to middle-class Americans.

Healthier Options

Taco Bell will roll out its new Cantina Chicken Menu in 2024, complete with “fried and delectable to slow-roasted and savory” options.

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While most nutritionists would find it a struggle to find anything on the Taco Bell menu that equals healthy food, adding slow-roasted chicken to the menu definitely gives the impression that the company is at least taking a step in the right direction.

Taco Bell Is Switching To Chicken

Slow-roasted chicken won’t be the only new dish on the menu, the restaurant will also offer chicken nuggets and several other chicken dishes.

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A spokesperson for the company explained, “Chicken innovation has long been cooking up at Taco Bell, but the protein is a main focus for 2024.”

Staying Relevant

It appears that Taco Bell has devised a new marketing strategy. Given the fact that increased prices will undoubtedly alienate some of the low-income customers who used to frequent the fast food chain.

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In an effort to make sure they hold on to the middle class customers, they are offering “healthy” options like chicken tacos and avocado salsa, of course, for just a few more dollars.

Decrease In Sales?

Naturally, the effectiveness of this is yet to be determined. There is no denying that there is a huge shift happening in the United States; with inflation going up, many Americans have simply stopped dining out.

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Hopefully, Taco Bell’s new marketing campaign and menu items will at least keep its sales stagnant this year.