Taco Bell's Nacho Fries Are Back, But Why Do They Keep Disappearing?

If it always seems like Taco Bell's popular Nacho Fries are gone before you're able to fully satisfy your craving for them, you're not imagining things. In fact, that may be exactly how Taco Bell wants you to feel every time it puts them on the menu, only to take them off soon after.

Whether it be the McDonald's McRib or the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, limited time menu items are often a marketing ploy that give people a reason to come to the restaurant, professor Alexander Chernev of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management told CNN Business.

Fast food chains attract most of their business through the consistency of their menus, but it's exclusivity that gets customers excited to come back for more. For Taco Bell, that hype comes in the form of Nacho Fries, which are making their most recent return on March 10, Chew Boom shares. Costing just $1.49, Taco Bell's Nacho Fries are extremely popular, but as professor Chernev explained, limited time offerings have the effect of increasing the enjoyment of the whole meal, giving both the customer and the brand something different to talk about.

Nacho Fries come fully loaded in other countries

From the Mexican Pizza to the Crunchwrap Supreme, there's plenty of popular options at Taco Bell. Most fan favorites, however, aren't as basic as Nacho Fries. As described on the Taco Bell menu, the seasonal item simply consists of seasoned french fries with a side of nacho cheese sauce. Considering the versions of Nacho Fries at Taco Bell's international locations come loaded with all kinds of toppings in addition to the standard nacho cheese sauce, it's safe to say if the plainer U.S. version was on the permanent menu, it could lose its charm.

As Chew Boom points out, a great deal of the excitement around Nacho Fries has to do with how Taco Bell markets it. Aside from advertising it as a limited time offering, the fast food chain also has a tradition of accompanying the now yearly announcement with a fake movie trailer. This year, the brand also introduced the Nacho Fries Challenge, inviting customers to submit their ideas for the next Nacho Fries commercial via Twitter. That may be a lot of hype for seasoned cheese fries, but it appears to be working for Taco Bell.