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Taco Bell Planning New Item with Beyond Meat

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Taco Bell said it currently has over 30 vegetarian ingredients on its menu.

Taco Bell’s vegetarian following will likely give a thumbs up to the chain’s recent announcement that it is returning potatoes and exploring a new plant-based protein with Beyond Meat.

After a brief hiatus from menus due to Taco Bell’s menu simplification efforts last year, Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes and the Spicy Potato Soft Taco will be back starting March 11, Taco Bell said. The Irvine, Calif.-based company said it’s also teaming up with Beyond Meat to create an innovative new plant-based protein that will be tested in the next year. Taco Bell said it chose to team up with Beyond Meat because it is a plant-based meat category leader with a proven track record of attracting younger customers with its offerings.

Although Taco Bell said it has long been a destination for vegetarians, this will be the brand’s first foray into plant-based meat in the U.S.

“The return of our beloved potatoes is just the first step in showing our fans the strong continued commitment to vegetarian we are making this year,” said Liz Matthews, Taco Bell’s global chief food innovation officer. “We have long been a leader in the vegetarian space, but this year, we have more meatless options in store that vegetarians, veggie-curious and even meat-eaters will love.”

Taco Bell cited that vegetarian isn’t just a trend for the company. It noted that it has had meatless menu items like the bean burrito for many years, and that it was the first quick-service restaurant chain to partner with the American Vegetarian Association (AVA) back in 2015. Taco Bell also noted that it currently has over 30 vegetarian ingredients on its menu.

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