Steve Jobs famously turned Apple product announcements into must-see events. But as memorable as those press conference still are, you know what they never include? A Baja Blast pie. For that we needed was fast food’s answer to over-the-top showcases, the wonderfully absurd, hard-to-believe-it-was-real Taco Bell Live Más Live 2024 extravaganza. It’s where we learned Taco Bell will soon offer chicken nuggets, chocolate ice cream tacos, a Crunchwrap containing a massive Cheez-It, and a whole lot more options we can’t wait to eat.
Taco Bell headed to Las Vegas along with the sports world this past weekend, but the chain restaurant wasn’t there to gamble on the Super Bowl. It was there to host its very own Apple-style announcement event. The first-ever Live Más showcase, hosted by rapper Armani White, provided customers a look at the company’s 2024 marketing calendar. The roughly hour-long exhibit served up tasting opportunities for those in attendance as well as celebrity performances and appearances.
But the real stars of the show were all the new menu items (both new and possible) Taco Bell revealed. That included the announcement of Taco Bell’s flavorful new Cantina Chicken Menu. The shredded “oven-roasted” culinary option comes “packed with a savory seasoning of Mexican spices including pasilla and other varieties of chilies.” It will be available in five ways: the Cantina Chicken Burrito, Cantina Chicken Taco (soft or crispy), Cantina Chicken Quesadilla, and the Cantina Chicken Bowl. The menu is also coming with a new sauce packet, Avocado Verde Salsa, as well as purple cabbage, pico de gallo, and a white corn taco shell.
Customers can also keep an eye out in 2024 for a number of test kitchen menu options getting a trial run. The following foodstuffs will be available for a limited time at participating locations:
- Cheesy Chicken Crispanada
- Crispy Chicken Nuggets
- Cheesy Street Chalupas
- MTN DEW Baja Blast Gelato
- Cheesy Enchilada Dipping Taco
- Dulce de Leche Cinnabon Delights
This year will also see new crossovers with other food companies resulting in some incredible new Taco Bell items. That includes a product containing a Cheez-It 16 times bigger than a normal one. Yes, really. The entire list of the new tasty team-ups, which will also offer a ChocoTaco replacement, include:
You can read more about all the new menu items in Taco Bell’s official Live Más press release. If you want to help decide another potential food option, though, you’ll need to get the chain’s app. That’s where Rewards Members will choose between adding a Mexi Melt or Caramel Apple Empanada to the menu.
If you want to learn about some ideas that never made it out of the Taco Bell test kitchen, you’ll need to fast forward to the roughly 26-minute mark on the live stream. That’s when the company’s Global Chief Food Innovation Officer, Liz Matthews, offered a behind-the-scenes look at experimental dishes that didn’t make it to stores. Those abandoned test kitchen endeavors included the burger-burrito “burgerito,” Boba fire sauce, a bacon-shell taco, pizza-tostada, and a hash brown taco.
Don’t focus on things we’ll never eat, though. Not when we can focus on things we might order very soon. Matthews also delivered a look at some test kitchen items currently in development and/or coming to stores. Taco Bell is working on a triple-decker taco with a jack and cheddar cheese outer shell. She also teased a chimichanga and chalupa mashup, elote queso, taco gyoza, a coming line of churro shakes, Baja Blast-dusted cinnamon twists, and, we swear this is true, a Baja Blast pie.
Would eat even without her glowing endorsement. (By “would eat” we mean “would eat the whole pie.)
Apple could never. That doesn’t mean they should stop holding their showcase events. They’re still important. It just means they should at least serve Taco Bell Baja Blast pie and Cheez-It Crunchwraps when they do hold one.