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Taco Bell Menu Offers a Cheesy Take on an American Classic

The fast-food chain never stops innovating and no idea is too much.

Will grilled cheese have a moment like mac-and-cheese has been having over the last decade? 

Burger King first launched the Mac-And-Cheetos — a large version of the cheesy chip — as part of a 2016 partnership with Frito-Lay. The product became a cult classic and set off several years of chains putting mac-and-cheese on anything that could possibly be imagined.

Yum! Brands (YUM) - Get Yum! Brands Inc. Report Pizza Hut stuffed pizza crust with it while McDonald's Korea launched a chicken sandwich topped with cheesy macaroni.

Even though grilled cheese is both a present-day and nostalgic favorite for millions, this sandwich has not had the kind of hero status in the fast food industry. When it does come up, it's usually as a standalone sandwich rather than some of the more creative iterations.

What Can You Find At Taco Bell India?

One notable exception was the Grilled Cheese Burrito at Taco Bell, another Yum! Brands favorite. 

The Double Steak Grilled Cheese Burrito appeared on some menus in July 2020 but, as a limited promotion, disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived. (The chain occasionally brings it back for equally short periods.)

While some fans of the chain still write about it on social media, the product did not have time to become a cult favorite in the style of Mexican Pizza or Nacho Fries.

The Grilled Cheese Burrito is not currently available in the U.S. but was recently expanded from a single menu item to several new "cheese max" boxes at Taco Bell India.

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The tortilla is layered with grilled mozzarella and cheddar and comes in both vegetarian and beef versions.

Cheese Max Box Veg Lead JS

Taco Bell, which has committed to having 600 restaurants in India by 2029, has a huge following in the country — in no small part because the chain's Tex-Mex style makes it easy to have an extensive vegetarian menu full of bean-based items.

More than 35% of India's 1.38 billion population does not eat meat; fast food chains that offer vegetarian options were thus able to carve out a very strong and loyal customer base.

While the grilled cheese burrito is a copycat of the one that appeared in the U.S., global fast food menus can both diverge greatly from what's available back home. McDonald's  (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation Report India is perhaps the starkest example with items like the McPaneer, McAloo and Maharaja Mac.

Fast food trends can also be a harbinger of what could soon come to American menu items since brands will often turn to global trends to see what could or could not work back home. 

Vegetarian options beyond a single veggie burger is a trend that is likely to continue growing while some items, like the Cilantro Sundae once sold at some McDonalds restaurants in China, are not at all likely to be adopted mainstream by those with a traditional western palate.

Taco Bell, meanwhile, plans to continue expanding its global restaurant outreach. In a May earnings call, Chief Financial Officer Chris Turner talked of growing interest in China and Spain.

"On that front, we're excited to share that Yum China YUMC has committed to expanding the Taco Bell brand, which will allow even more people to live mas as we build our brand identity globally and grow our footprint in that market," Turner said.