When it comes down to who made the craziest fast food items, chains really upped their game in 2017. Everybody was crafting concoctions that bordered sheer insanity, whether it be for their looks, calorie content, or how much it drove fans berserk. Not all items generated hype from the major fast food players this year, but these ten were the ones that pushed the limits of total absurdity.
To be honest, I’m not sure whether this wacky drink broke baristas more than it did the internet. Still, the color-changing, terrible-tasting frappuccino went viral everywhere for its looks, which made it a huge hit on Instagram. This epitome of unicorn food was only sold for a few days, but that was enough to leave a lasting impact.
Photo: Peter Pham // Foodbeast
You’d think Pop Rocks and burritos wouldn’t go well together, but Taco Bell found a way to make it happen with this eye-popping item. The spicy Pop Rocks added a whole new level of texture that was unprecedented in terms of fast food items. While it was only available as a test item this year, the hype surrounding it could lead to bigger launches in the future.
Photo: Peter Pham // Foodbeast
Another mashup between the realms of sweet and savory, Popeyes crusted some of their chicken tenders in shortbread cookie dough. These Sweet & Crunchy tenders drew long lines the instant they came out, and drew some high praise from our fried chicken expert, Reach. It also pushed the bounds of just what could be used as fried chicken batter, making us wonder what’s coming next.
McDonald’s is now the first major fast food burger joint to offer a full vegan burger, and this McVegan actually received praise from PETA. It’s insane how long it took for this item to surface, but the plant-based meat movement was in full swing during 2017. While it’s only in Sweden and Finland for now, initial tests are doing very well, so it may spread even further next year.
The Arbynator may have just come out last week, but its gargantuan size is enough to vault it into this top ten. At a half pound of meat, curly fries, and multiple sauces on the inside, there’s only one other sandwich as gluttonous as this one that came out this year.
Photo courtesy of Burger King
Burger King’s contribution to this list involves it’s most caloric burger of all time. At 1,220 calories per sandwich, this fried egg, bacon, and crispy onion double cheeseburger is easily enough to require an extra week at the gym. No fast food addition this year came close to beating the Farmhouse King in terms of unhealthiness.
Dessert quesadillas, anyone? At just a buck each, Taco Bell began testing Kit Kat AND Twix Quesadillas this year. The sweet candy fusion turned a ton of heads and led to customer demands nationwide. We’ll have to see if this delirious dessert will show up next year or not.
Photo courtesy of Starbucks Japan
While the Unicorn Frappuccino was crazy on a whole bunch of different levels, it didn’t have one insane addition that this drink did: A pie crust lid. Starbucks Japan sold the Cherry Pie Frappuccino for the whole month of April, and fans were drawn to it, both for the sweet flavors inside and the innovative pastry on the outside. We’ve never seen anything like it here in the U.S., but the crunchy add-on would definitely be a dope menu option.
When Taco Bell first announced their fried chicken taco shell, fans went absolutely nuts. The hyped continued throughout the year with its national launch, along with its return as a Bacon Ranch Naked Chicken Chalupa. The concept led Taco Bell to innovate even further with protein taco shells, with their breakfast Naked Egg Taco being an example of their continual envelope pushing. There was nothing normal about the Naked Chicken Chalupa at first, but now that it’s arrived, the norms have clearly changed.
While Szechuan Sauce isn’t exactly new, having been released for a limited time in the 90s, its Rick & Morty-fueled return escalated to extreme levels of excitement. Hardcore fans demanded the condiment, then once they got it, called for more. McDonald’s couldn’t keep up with the growing hype of the Szechuan Sauce, as their ultra-limited release pissed off some fans to the point of police being called. No 2017 item was obsessed over more than the Mulan McNugget Sauce, that’s for sure.