Taco Bell's Naked Chicken Chalupa to bare all nationwide in 2017

Doritos Locos tacos and a fountain drink are arranged for a photograph at a Taco Bell restaurant, a unit of Yum! Brands.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Doritos Locos tacos and a fountain drink are arranged for a photograph at a Taco Bell restaurant, a unit of Yum! Brands.

The Naked Chicken Chalupa is finally getting a nationwide release.

The menu item, which was first tested on the West Coast, features a chicken "taco shell" and is filled with shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and an avocado ranch sauce.

Taco Bell, which hinted that the item would see a nationwide roll out in the beginning of 2017, is reportedly slated to bring the Naked Chicken Chalupa to stores in late January or early February, a manager told CNBC.

The Naked Chicken Chalupa was first tested in Baskersfield, California, in 2015 before hitting several stores in Kansas in April.

"We're excited to share more about the Naked Chicken Chalupa in early 2017 as it was so well received by fans during [the] test," a Taco Bell spokeswoman told CNBC, declining to comment further about the launch.

Restaurants have begun to rely heavily on quirky menu items to drive sales and attract new customers. Taco Bell, in particular, has had a rich history of innovation and several of its limited-time promotions have become part of its permanent menu.

The chain's Doritos Locos tacos, introduced in 2012, are one such item. The company currently offers three different flavored taco shells, Cool Ranch, Nacho and Fiery.

"Taco Bell continues to stay ahead of the curve with consumer relevant innovation and strong success in recent years," Darren Tristano, president of Technomic, told CNBC. "They have become a major innovation player and one that the industry pays close attention."

Technomic, which tracks U.S. restaurant chains as part of its Consumer Brand Metrics survey program, noted that over the course of the first three quarters of 2016, Taco Bell has ranked number 10 among 61 quick-service brands for innovation and number 2 for "introduces new and exciting products."

Ben & Jerry's ice cream currently ranks number 1 for both metrics.

"Taco Bell scores higher than the overall quick-service average with good consistency," Robert Byrne, senior manager of consumer insights, told CNBC.

Taco Bell is no stranger to limited-time menu items. In 2016 the company has launched several short-lived products in an effort to differentiate from its competitors and boost sales.

The Airheads White Mystery Freeze, the Cheddar Habanero Quesarito, the Triple-Double Crunchwrap and Walking Nachos, are just a few of the products that consumers have seen this year.