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Arby's is bringing the heat this new year — literally.
The fast food giant claims its new Diablo Dare sandwich, which comes in two iterations (crispy chicken or 13-hour smoked brisket), is the spiciest option on the market. It even includes a free vanilla shake to "cool your mouth down between bites."
And according to Patrick Schwing, chief marketing officer of Arby’s, "this is not a sandwich for the faint of heart."
The $5.99 sandwich includes five levels of spice: ghost pepper jack cheese, fiery hot seasoning, fire-roasted jalapeños, and Diablo BBQ sauce served on a toasted red chipotle bun.
"Everyone in [the quick service restaurant industry] says they have a spicy option, but our research tells us that consumers are disappointed by fast food claims of spicy," Schwing said in a press release.
"We took that as a challenge by making sure all different types of spicy –the hot, the numbing, and the lingering are combined to make the Diablo Dare a true test of how much heat you can handle," he added.
Yahoo Finance had the chance to taste the limited-time menu offering — and rated the spice level from a scale of 1 – 5.
After trying both protein choices, the crispy chicken seemed to pack a spicier punch than its smoked brisket counterpart. The flavors were there, as well as the heat, but the spiciest sandwich on the market? We're not so sure.
Overall, we gave the sandwich a 3.5/5 on the spice scale. Spicy but not 'mouth-on-fire, chug vanilla milkshake immediately' spicy.
Arby's customers can do their own spicy reviews beginning January 18, when the brand launches its 'Diablo Dare Hashtag Challenge' on TikTok. For the challenge, customers can show just how much of the sandwich they can take before reaching for that vanilla shake.
Still, spiciness is a heated topic (no pun intended) and Arby's is not the only quick service restaurant to lean into consumers' appetite for flavor.
Last year, Wendy's (WEN) unveiled a savory newcomer to its chicken sandwich lineup: the Jalapeño Popper Sandwich while Burger King (QSR) introduced a spicy variation of its classic crispy chicken and recently launched Ch'King sandwiches.
Other big-name chains including McDonald's (MCD), Taco Bell (YUM), KFC, Popeyes, Shake Shack (SHAK), Chipotle (CMG), and Chick-fil-A all have spicy options as menu innovation continues to drive customer traffic growth.
Alexandra is a Producer & Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193
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