Takeaway Truth: KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco

Takeaway Truth:  KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco

Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: KFC’s Double Shell Zinger Taco. (Plus taste test!)

Fast food restaurants have been known to fib when it comes to accurate depictions of their menu items. Far too often, the mouth-watering feast on the poster turns out to be a limp and oily morsel. In a bid to keep the fry-jockey overlords honest, we’ve decided to document the reality of fast food — it was either that, or go postal like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

When KFC launched the Nacho Box a few months ago, the entire world recoiled in disgusted horror. There were multiple reports of the Nacho cheese containing mould and the company’s Facebook page amassed more than 7000 comments about the new menu item; most of which were scathingly negative.

In our Takeaway Truth report, we described it as resembling week-old garbage mixed with surgery leftovers. We were only half-joking:

In the immediate wake of this massive PR disaster, KFC has taken the unusual step of launching another Mexican-themed snack: the KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco. (We’re pretty sure the company is just trolling at this point — we kind of respect that.)

As its name implies, the KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco comprises a Zinger chicken patty enclosed in two taco shells; one soft, one hard. It also comes with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and “super charged” sauce. A single KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco packs in 1322kJ of energy and costs $3.95.

You can also get a combo meal which contains two tacos, a piece of original recipe chicken, chips, potato and gravy and a soft drink for $11.95. The nutritional damage for the combo meal is 4972kJ.

Takeaway Truth:  KFC Double Shell Zinger TacoPeeling back the outer taco flap reveals this. Eew.

In terms of taste, I thought the KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco was a bit weird: the hard taco has an odd semi-crunchy texture and the sauce is surprisingly spicy for a mainstream takeaway offering. With that said, it’s certainly not the worse fast food I’ve ever eaten. However, this is Takeaway Truth, where flavour is irrelevant.

So how does the real KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco compare to the advertisement? After the national bollocking it received for the Nacho Box, KFC has prudently kept its Zinger Taco marketing to a minimum. There has been no mention of the product on its Facebook page or website, no media release and no advertisements on TV or YouTube. We were subsequently forced to take a snap of the in-store poster.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco as it appears on the poster and in real life:

Takeaway Truth:  KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco

We really wanted to frenziedly attack this thing like it was a Matthew Newton-shaped piñata, but y’know what? The likeness actually isn’t too bad. There’s less sauce on the real taco and the lettuce isn’t as artfully arranged, but otherwise this is a pretty faithful representation. The colour, shape and size are all roughly identical. Aesthetically, it’s definitely a massive improvement on the Nacho Box.

Truth rating: 7/10

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


  • The why not have both taco girl is rolling over in her grave. This was not the legacy she left behind!

    • You owe me a new keyboard, mine is now full of the water I just sprayed everywhere laughing at your comment LMAO!

    • Because they weren’t allowed to say that their Tacos contain Beef, in Australia our standards are too high. Personally I don’t think we need Taco Bell because we do seem to be getting some decent Mexican themed Fast Food Joints.

      • Too right.

        Mad Mex – Not great, not bad. Guzman Y Gomez, hipster-ish version of it, does the job.

        Having had Chipotle in LA, the local brands do a bloody good job (esp GyG) of getting there.

        But nothing beats a real restaurant, or make-at-home. Also, frankly, this KFC taco makes me ill at the thought.

        ‘Gratz, though, on putting spice into Aussie mainstream. It *is* Mexican, technically, so it should be there.

        • I have a friend who loves Mad Mex, I ordered a Burito and hated it, not so much the flavours, but because they prepared it wrong. They wrapped it in Alfoil and than heated it, I spent my entire meal picking alfoil off the Burrito.

          • I am quite aware that bad* staff can make a great place terrible.

            There’s a place I love going to, but if a certain person is there I don’t even bother ordering because I know the food won’t be made right and I won’t enjoy it.

            *Bad staff are not necessarily people who are out to get you (the customer), just don’t care, or are simply too stupid for the job they may be new or badly trained.

            My personal experience with too stupid for the job, was working a bar and having somebody ask me what’s in a rum and coke. We all laughed, than he said no really how do I make it. After a 30 second Explanation, (Ice, Rum, Coke in that order, including why. FTR Our dispenser was push the button and it deploys a shot so no measuring) we thought he’d be fine, 5 minutes later he asked what’s in a Rum and Coke again? He also couldn’t pull a Beer or make a Rum and Coke without ice, or understand other complicated Cocktails like Scotch and Coke, Scotch and Dry or Scotch and Lemonade. Diet Coke was a confusing element too.

            The only time I had a problem was when I met the guy who wanted a Fanta and Rum, which got a “What? Really? A Fanta and Rum? Are you sure? Did you just lose a Bet?” from me. And the answer is no, he just liked Fanta and Rum.

          • I get that sort of response when I order a gin and Red Bull. It’s not my fault it’s tasty, dammit.

  • 7/10? OMG Chris, you have gone to the dark side.

    The poster version shows a tender, succulent and freshly cooked Zinger fillet, loving drizzled in Mexican sauce, resting on a generous bed of verdant lettuce with chopped red onion and tomato nestled in a crunchy, freshly made Taco, smeared in creamy SuperCharged sauce folded into a soft fluffy tortilla.

    The real version shows a half cold, 3 week old Zinger filler with two splotches of undefinable red sauce, resting on three strips of tired, limp iceberg lettuce in a soggy looking plastic hardshell that has been plonked in a tortilla. They forgot the SuperCharged sauce.

    I’d give it a 5 on looks. Even that is a shock for KFC.

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