TUSTIN, Calif.—Taco Bell has begun testing its own alternative to meat to give its vegetarian customers more reasons to order from the chain, CNBC reports. In January, Yum Brands announced it would pilot a Beyond Meat alternative later in 2021, but Taco Bell jumped in with its own plant-based menu item from the chain’s test kitchen, including the Cravetarian Taco.
The Cravetarian Taco has a meat alternative comprised of chickpeas and peas, along with shredded cheddar cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and sour cream in a shell. It’s a veggie version of the Crunchy Taco Supreme. It’s only on the menu at a Tustin, Calif., Taco Bell until April 29. The restaurant is allowing customers to request the meat substitute in other menu items at no cost as well.
Taco Bell isn’t the only QSR working on its own meat substitute. McDonald’s announced in March plans to collaborate with Beyond Meat for its own McPlant burger. Last summer, Starbucks introduced a plant-based meat breakfast sandwich. And in February 2021, Wawa unveiled menus with meatless, gluten-free, low-sodium, high-protein and reduced-sugar options. The pandemic has lifted sales of plant-based meats, partly due to the proliferation of products now on the market.
To learn more about this growing trend, be sure to read “Meat Your Plant-Based Burger” in NACS Magazine.