Today, Burger King ($QSR) announced it will bring back hard shell tacos, for $1 each, for a limited time. While some may see this as a trivial move to capitalize on the midnight munchies, alternative data sees this as Burger King challenging Jack in the Box ($JACK), another publicly traded fast food chain known for both its burgers and tacos.

According to proximity data, there are less than 50 Jack in the Box locations in the United States that sit further than ten miles from a Burger King, and the majority of BK locations are around or under a mile away from one of Jack's joints. In other words, Burger King has Jack surrounded.

One of Jack in the Box's main selling points is its taco. The company tries to give them out for free at Los Angeles Lakers games — everyone in the arena gets a free taco when the Lakers win a game and hold their opponents under 100 points — or other Jack in the Box sponsored events, but any other day, two of these tacos are just a buck.

Burger King's dollar taco directly competes with this offer, albeit at a more expensive price point. The fast food giant also has the reach that Jack in the Box doesn't; while Jack in the Box rarely touches the East Coast and Midwest, Burger King has thousands of locations.

Could this cut into Jack in the Box's bottom line? It's too early to tell, but with a market saturated with tacos — from Jack in the Box to now Burger King, not to mention all the Mexican eateries we wrote about during Cinco de Mayo — it appears that we're heading for a taco bubble.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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