Taco Bell is officially testing Beyond Meat’s plant-based meat at one location in Southern California. Taco Bell’s partnership with Beyond Meat marks its inaugural use of plant-based meat within the United States, giving plant-based consumers the ability to order more off the menu. For now, the limited-time offer will feature the “boldly seasoned plant-based protein” in a new Cravetarian Taco made to mirror the chain’s fan-favorite Crunchy Taco Supreme.
The Cravetarian Taco comes as a vegetarian taco that can be ordered fully plant-based. The special taco contains the Beyond Meat, lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream inside a signature crunchy corn shell. Customers can modify the taco to be vegan if they ask to remove the sour cream and cheddar cheese. Taco Bell is also known for its highly customizable menu, meaning that customers can use the Beyond Meat protein to replace animal meat across the entire menu. Instead of being stuck with just beans and potatoes as meat substitutes, Taco Bell lovers will get another choice when visiting the fast-food chain.
Taco Bell Tests Beyond Meat at Select Locations
“At Taco Bell, we’ve long been a go-to spot for vegetarians,” a Taco Bell spokesperson told VegNews. “We’ve never seen vegetarian offerings as just a trend, and we don’t see them as exclusively for vegetarians. We pride ourselves on being a place where every type of lifestyle can find exactly what they’re craving, and we’re always listening to our fans – the vegetarians, veggie-curious, and meat-eaters alike. So, we’re excited to foray into plant-based meat and bring even more plant-based offerings to the masses.”
The fast-food chain has repeatedly shown its dedication to providing for its full consumer base. Before the partnership with Beyond Meat, the company debuted a “Veggie Mode” button on its menu boards, which streamlined the vegan and vegetarian options for its customers. The section contained approximately 50 set vegetarian options with abilities to customize for fully plant-based eaters.
The chain unintentionally caused an uproar when it removed its famed seasoned potatoes from its menus. For years, the potatoes served as a meat substitute for its customers, leading to the severe outcry when the chain removed it. Quickly, Taco Bell reacted to its outspoken, dissatisfied followers, and reintroduced the potatoes in March alongside an announcement that it had a future relationship with Beyond Meat.
“At the beginning of 2021, we at Taco Bell reiterated our continued commitment to providing more vegetarian options throughout the year,” the spokesperson continued. “While we work to create a new protein with Beyond Meat that is unique and something not quite yet seen in the industry, we are simultaneously testing other meatless options. Our seasoned beef is integral to our menu and we know that our fans are looking for more plant-based protein options today, so we wanted to explore yet another addition to our already expansive vegetarian lineup. Our history of innovation never stops.”
Beyond Meat is Partnering with Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC
Earlier this year, Beyond Meat announced that it plans to team up with Yum! Brands to bring plant-based meats to KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. KFC already debuted its limited offer trial chicken, but now it is Taco Bell’s turn. The company has announced that it plans to experiment with multiple other plant-based options for its menu. The company hopes to develop dairy alternatives to allow customers to purchase vegan cheese and sour cream products for the Tacos.
“As you know well, we are constantly listening to our fans and we never say never,” the spokesperson said. “Every test item and menu change is highly intentional, and we are currently focused on plant-based meats. We’ve made space on the menu for new products, so there is more to come in 2021 as we continue innovation and product testing behind-the-scenes.”
While customers await the national rollout of the Beyond Meat, there’s plenty to eat at Taco Bell. The Beet put together a guide that shows you what and how to order your favorite menu items full plant-based. Taco Bell’s optimism about its plant-based future signals to its die-hard fans that the company is listening to its increased plant-based demand. The Cravetarian taco is available for $2.19 each and is available until April 29 at the Taco Bell located at 14042 Red Hill Avenue, Tustin, California. For Southern Californians, the craving is being met, and based on its reception, customers might see the new protein pop-up on the menus nationwide.