Takeaway Truth: KFC’s Nacho Box

Takeaway Truth: KFC’s Nacho Box

Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: KFC’s Nacho Box. Aye yai yai!

In recent years, there has been a trend among takeaway franchises to experiment with cuisines outside of their traditional menu offerings. Examples include McDonald’s extensive Chicken burger range, the KFC Zinger Pie and Pizza Hut’s cheeseburger pizza.

Presumably, the idea is to entice new customers into the fold by catering to disparate taste buds. Now, KFC has launched a new “Nacho” range in a bid to grab some of those sweet Mexican pesos.

With Mad Mex and Guzman y Gomez going from strength to strength in the Aussie market, it makes economic sense for KFC to add a little Mesoamerican flavour to its menu. But do people really want Mexican food mixed with KFC chicken? And what do the results look like? Takeaway Truth is about to find out.

The hero of KFC’s new Nacho range is the Nacho Box, which consists of KFC’s Popcorn Chicken topped with cheese, salsa and corn chips. It costs $3.95 and packs in 2341kJ of energy. Here’s the commercial:

The first thing we noticed about the above advert is that KFC didn’t play up the Mexican angle — there’s not a sombrero or mariachi group in sight. Bravo. The second thing we noticed is that the product is barely shown. In every shot bar one, the Nacho Box is either out of focus or turned away from the viewer so you can only see the lid. It’s almost as if KFC is trying to hide its appearance. Why could that be, we wonder?

Here’s what the KFC Nacho Box looks like in the advertising image:

And here’s what we actually got served:

Takeaway Truth: KFC’s Nacho Box

Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

Takeaway Truth: KFC’s Nacho Box

The most glaring difference is the lack of visible corn chips — instead of popping out like individual hors d’oeuvres, the chips were all buried at the bottom of the box. This made the snack more difficult to eat barehanded than the marketing image suggests.

As is invariably the case, the presentation is also a lot sloppier in the real version. Yeah, yeah, we understand that it’s delusional to expect every meal an employee makes to be worthy of a poster; but is a modicum of care really too much to ask? Seriously, look at the image below:

Takeaway Truth: KFC’s Nacho Box

Nachos? It looks more like week-old garbage mixed with surgery leftovers — would you willingly stick that in your mouth? Our advice to KFC is to leave the maracas at home and stick to being clucky.

Truth rating: 4/10

Which fast food franchise or menu item would you like us to tackle next? Let us know in the comments section below.


    • Wow. When some reader inevitably says I scored it too highly, I’ll refer them to that link. At least mine didn’t have mould!

      • It doesn’t have mould yeah but it still doesn’t look very appealing or anything like the poster, so I think 4/10 is being pretty generous.

        This was the first takeaway truth where I actually physically laughed when I scrolled down to see the real image, it looked *that* bad.

          • I second this opinion!

            All I have to say after seeing that is… wooooooooooww..

            That being said I’m actually not surprised >.>

            Sometimes the grated cheese bags don’t get sealed properly during packing or gets “popped” if there’s too much air and you get one miniscule leak… queue condensation in storage fridge and your looking at grated “blue cheese”. I’ve been on the receiving end of one of these cheese bags. Unfortunately you can’t tell until you get to the bottom or its been stored in the fridge for a while because it gets ripe very fast once its completely exposed to the air…

    • So glad someone posted this, it was the first thing that popped to mind when I saw the article. An hilarious read.

      • I can’t bring myself to order one of these because of that post now. That and it also looks like a dogs breakfast.

        • I don’t think even a dog would touch it. I’ll stick to homemade nachos from now on thank you very much!
          You can’t expect much from something that costs $3.95 though, especially something that has come from a fast food giant like KFC.

  • I would be very disappointed if I actually got food that looked like that advertisement. I, in no way, shape or form, consider that to be anywhere near what a prepared meal would look like.

    When I make nachos at home, you know which photo they more look like? The actual food. Because, oddly enough, it’s made with actual food!

    Do I care? No! It’s about the taste. I’m not working in a five star restaurant, and neither are the people that prepare these meals. They put food in a box. I would probably end up with something very similar if I had of made it myself.

    The real question is, does it taste good, or does it taste like the rest of KFC of late (ie, crap)?

    • For the thousandth time, the point of these articles isn’t to prove that adverts are misleading — everyone knows that already. Rather, the point is to expose the level of deception, which varies quite significantly. Sometimes, the meal bears almost no resemblance to the poster. Takeaway Truth attempts to give customers a rough idea of what they’re really getting.

      As to the taste, the corn chips were good quality — thick, crunchy and flavoursome. Apart from the appearance, my main criticism is that the salsa was fridge-temperature, which made for a cold, greasy meal.

      • It looks like it could stand to be thrown in a microwave for 10-20 seconds to heat it up a bit and melt the cheese.

        • Maybe pull the chips out first, they tend to soften and sometimes even get a bit chewy from microwave exposure.

          • Which is why I use the grill to make Nachos even covered in melted cheese and Nacho Topping (as opposed to Salsa) the chips remain crisp.

            Rant about the difference
            Salsa is based on Tomatoes, Nacho Topping is thicker and based off Beans although it does have a Tomato flavour, it’s the significantly thicker sauce which helps it all stay together. While I don’t care if you like Salsa it’s your choice on what you eat I prefer and suggest Nacho Topping. I’m sure it has a proper name, but I use the Old El Paso one.
            And the biggest thing which annoys me is when a friend says my Nachos never come out as good as yours, and I tell them they use Salsa not Nacho Topping, they say there’s no difference.

      • Ah Chris, I come here every week to reiterate that point. People just have no idea, they just like to read the first line and throw out a knee-jerk reaction.

        Keep up the good work, I’ve got your back ha ha

    • My Nachos look far more like the advert picture than the actual result. The difference is one is prepared the other is thrown into a box. With the exception being I use way more cheese and no Popcorn chicken.

  • When I was younger and hardier in intestinal fortitude, a favourite snack of mine was a bag of doritos chips laid out on a plate then sprinkled with a bag of grated cheese from the supermarket. The plate was microwaved til the cheese melted, then my cheese dorito-pizza was lavished with the doritos companion salsa on top (usually ‘medium’), cold from the fridge.

    I ate it frequently, and experimented with many brands of chips, salsa, cheese, and techniques. So it is with the experience of a connoisseur that I tell you I am 95% sure that both the chips and salsa used in the KFC nachos box are the high-quality Doritos variety, with a medium-grade bagged grated cheddar cheese.

    As for the quantities they use and how they present it, I think your mileage is going to vary based on how your local franchise is being run.

    The presentation I’ve seen has always been a quarter-cup (or less) of grated cheese sprinkled over a mix of a heaped tablespoon of salsa and the ‘regular’ (smallest) serve of popcorn chicken. Lightly heated or just using the heat from the chicken to melt the cheese, with a large handful of cheese doritos added on top.

    Considering how much a small popcorn chicken costs, I’m surprised at how much you get in the nacho box, and won’t be surprised when it’s eventually pulled.

    • Well the corn chips are from mission and the cheese is a grated bag of pizza cheese containing mozzarella, cheddar and Parmesan not sure what brand tho.

  • How can they call it nachos when the cheese isn’t melted? That’s just plain WRONG :P.

  • I have to be honest, my expectations were medium and they were exceeded with that photo. It looks pretty good.

    Don’t get me wrong I was going to try this bad boy anyway (why haven’t I gotten around to that yet?) but the picture has made me more keen.


  • I had the opposite experience, i saw the nacho box on the tv add that looked like shit, then when i got it in my hands it looked significantly better than what i saw on the tv add.

  • God, No wonder we’re a nation of fattards if we eat anything like that god awful looking shit. Looks like something I vomited into a crapper after a heavy night on the piss …. christ awful …..

  • I never buy anything from a fast food chain that requires someone to actually ‘make’ my meal. Burgers are just assembled, chicken is just thrown in a bow. Anything that needs to be made, well.. ‘well’ is not something i trust.

    And not only because i don’t trust them to care enough to put effort in, but they are pressed fro time, its ‘fast’ food after all, so they are just going to throw it together as quickly as possible. A burger just goes together in order, its easy. This would require layering and paying attention, instead of pouring all the bits and pieces into the box and then throwing cheese on top.

  • I had one of these, and it was disgusting, not disgusting like the zinger pie, which was the good kind of disgusting, and you would absolutely buy again, but disgustingly bad, whoever comes up with KFCs menu items should be sacked.

    That being said i could really go a KFC nacho box right about now.

  • Honestly I’d rate that a 2/10. But I’m a lot harsher.

    I regularly eat at a burger place where I’d have to say the pictures look exactly like the burger. Yay MOSBurger, they are cheaper and tastier than Hungry Jacks or McDonalds and they bring the food to your table.

    • mmmm… mos burger.

      I agree their burgers are so good. I frequent the Brisbane one and could never get sick of their spicy cheeseburgers.

      • We have MOS burger in Australia? I’ve only ever had it in Japan. I cannot wait to hunt down a Takumi burger.

        Edit: Naww, only in QLD.

        • With frequent patronage from myself, Brodiek and others hopefully they can expand.

          Or just move for the burgers.

  • I had one of these recently and the corn chips were slightly more visible than yours, but as someone else mentioned the weirdest part was the unmelted cheese. That said, it was delicious and surprisingly filling and I’d totally have it again.

    • The cheese is weird and i don’t think i’d like the texture. I’d even prefer it microwaved or something..

  • I started this article thinking; KFC normally gets a real thrashing in Takeaway Truth but as it’s rather hard to mess up Nachos might this be the first high scoring Colonel Sander’s meal?

    “Surgery Leftovers”. Brilliant.

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