Taco Bell Is Officially Testing Vegan Meat in Southern California
After an unpopular decision to skim its menu back in the summer of 2020—which included a seven-month potato hiatus—Taco Bell is working on a transformational, vegan-friendly addition. The chain announced this week that it is actively testing a vegan meat alternative made from a proprietary blend of peas and garbanzo beans.
The plant-based protein will replicate and replace seasoned beef crumble in the upcoming Cravetarian Taco—essentially a vegetarian Crunchy Taco Supreme. The chain’s signature hard taco shell will be stuffed with this new “boldly seasoned plant-based protein,” grated cheddar cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes, and sour cream. Taco Bell suggests a vegan modification by removing the cheese and sour cream. While made for the Cravetarian Taco, this vegan meat can be substituted for beef in any menu item at no additional charge.
A select group of journalists were invited to try the new vegan beef at Taco Bell’s headquarters in Irvine, CA this week, and customers have the opportunity to track it down until April 29. The Cravetarian Taco will be available at one undisclosed Southern California location until this date or until supplies last. Based on this consumer trial period, the vegan beef will expand to other locations nationwide.
Vegan options are no longer a rarity at fast-food chains—they’ve become standard. Taco Bell competitors such as Del Taco, El Pollo Loco, and Chipotle have all incorporated meat substitutes into their menus; Taco Bell is just catching up.
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