Subway test product copycats Taco Bell: Fritos-stuffed Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt

Subway is test-marketing the Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt, where the "Crunchy" is Fritos. That is correct: Subway now has a sandwich -- of sorts -- that is enhanced by stuffing the interior perimeter with Fritos corn chips.

Taco Bell started something. You know, with that Doritos Locos Tacos thing...

You know when a product has made an impact on an industry: Others try to emulate it. And that is apparently what is happening here. And why not? Over half a billion of both varieties of the Locos Tacos, the Nacho and the Cool Ranch, reportedly have been sold since Taco Bell introduced the item last March.

(Read: Totally loco number of Doritos Locos Tacos sold in just over a year will blow your mind)

So now Subway looks to be getting in on the corn chips-infused food item idea. According to GrubGrade, the world's largest fast food chain is testing their new product, the Fritos-stuffed Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt, in central Florida and Seattle area Subway restaurants. This new product is made constructed of shredded chicken in enchilada sauce, Monterey Cheddar and Fritos chips.

Of course, a menu item like this won't win the restaurant any kudos from the health-conscious but, admit it, it does sound far more appetizing than the recently resurrected Orchard Chicken Salad Sandwich (diced chicken breast, chunks of apple, raisins and cranberries tossed in light mayonnaise, served with lettuce and tomato), which ended its limited run on July 4.

Besides, with studies showing that eating at Subway restaurants is barely healthier than eating at a McDonald's, Subway might as well go for maintaining their reign as the largest fast food restaurant chain in the world. According to their website, they now have over 39,500 stores in 102 countries.

Regardless, we all know where the idea for the Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt came from, right? Those crazy guys over at Taco Bell, who may or may not have stolen the idea from a federal prison inmate, have a hit product on their hands with the Doritos Locos Tacos. And who wouldn't want a catch a ride on that fast food shooting star and see sales go through the figurative roof?

So now we have the Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt -- if it makes it past the test markets, which it most likely will. And Subway could offer up several varieties of Fritos corn chips for stuffing. There are five flavors currently available from Frito-Lay (from Original to Chili Cheese to Flamin' Hot) and a sixth that is a lightly salted version of the original (for those who want to cut down on the sodium intake).

But in the end, the real winner in this push to put corn chips inside of standard menu items is Frito-Lay. Fritos and Doritos are both produced under the Frito-Lay corporate umbrella.

(photo credit: Subway Restaurants, promotional)