New innovation positions Taco Bell as plant-based leader

Welcome to First Bite, a Nation’s Restaurant News podcast, your daily source of news from NRN hosted by Holly Petre.

Today, we’re talking about the latest LTO from Taco Bell.

Taco Bell announced Wednesday the introduction of Beyond Carne Asada Steak in collaboration with Beyond Meat. This item will be available as an LTO in test markets in the Dayton, Ohio area starting Oct. 13 and will be featured in the Beyond Steak quesadilla (priced the same as a traditional steak quesadilla). Customers, however, can add the item as protein in any menu item and there is no additional cost to swap out proteins for the Beyond Steak.

This will be Beyond Meat’s first plant-based steak product: previously the company has only created vegan ground beef and beef crumbles. The product is made with vegan ingredients like vital wheat gluten and faba bean protein.

Taco Bell has a rich history of offering a variety of plant-based fillings and proteins, from its ever-popular cheesy fiesta potatoes, which returned after a hiatus during the pandemic, much to the delight of fans, and its multiple iterations of proprietary plant -based proteins, including the “boldly seasoned” pea and chickpea blend protein that was used as the star of the Cravetarian Taco in April 2021, and the “boldly seasoned plant-based protein” in the Crispy Melt Taco introduced last month. According to the brand, plant-based orders account for 12% of all sales.

Hear what Joanna Fantozzi has to say on this latest LTO and product debut.

Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.

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