The Beefy Crunch Burrito: A Tale of Love and Heartbreak

By Brady Sklenar

Every fast food chain has had a limited-time menu item that customers have gone crazy over, but none have created as much buzz as Taco Bell’s Beefy Crunch Burrito. In this burrito, seasoned beef, Mexican rice, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream and Flamin’ Hot Fritos all come together to create one of the restaurant’s most popular (and delicious) menu items ever.

With over 74,000 Facebook fans and seven tattoos of the burrito, there’s no doubt that Taco Bell made something truly special.

Taco Bell has been known to regularly collaborate with other companies to create unique menu items, some of their most famous being Mountain Dew Baja Blast, Doritos Locos Tacos and Cinnabon Delights. But, when the Beefy Crunch Burrito came out in 2009, the inclusion of Flamin’ Hot Fritos in the burrito was a concept unheard of at the time.

When the limited run ended in May 2011, the Beefy Crunch Movement was born. Over the last seven years, the movement has strived to bring the Beefy Crunch back onto Taco Bell’s menus and hopefully one day make it a permanent menu item.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Weetman

At first, the burrito had a yearly promotion, not unlike McDonald’s McRib. But on May 23, 2013, the Beefy Crunch Burrito left Taco Bell’s menu for the third time and would not see a return for another three years.

In the years since, the Beefy Crunch’s return has never felt certain. Years passed by with no word from Taco Bell. Fans’ relentless comments on social media would continue to go ignored.

It wasn’t until March 2016 that a return would be announced, but the burrito returned and left again a few months later, leaving its fans in the dark on whether they would ever eat another bite of their favorite burrito again.

This year has been both exciting and heartbreaking for Beefy Crunch fans across the nation. In April, Taco Bell announced that the burrito would return to stores as a test run in the Chattanooga, Tenn., region in an effort to finally make the Beefy Crunch a permanent menu item in 2019.

Hope finally returned. Fans in the area rushed to stores during its run, some of the most dedicated traveling thousands of miles to just eat one burrito. After what seemed like a successful promotion, it was announced in August that the burrito would not be given a permanent place on the Taco Bell menu, but it would still be making a short return to menus across the country in the fall.

The Beefy Crunch has been back on Taco Bell’s menu for a few weeks now and while I have been overjoyed to finally eat this burrito again, each bite feels bittersweet knowing that I only have one more week to enjoy it. Ever since my first bite of the Beefy Crunch in 2011, I have been in love, and I hope a day will finally come when all fans can finally order a Beefy Crunch Burrito whenever they visit Taco Bell.