Taco Bell Is Testing An All New Plant-Based Meat On Its Menu

Historically, Taco Bell has been popular with customers craving quick service food that doesn't feature meat as its main ingredient, per the chain's blog. The fast food restaurant explains on their blog that all of their vegetarian menu items are certified by the American Vegetarian Association as appropriate for lacto-ovo vegetarians (those who don't eat animal flesh but nevertheless are willing to consume cheese and eggs).

Even full-on vegans (those who do not consume or otherwise make use of anything that comes from an animal) have found that Taco Bell's menu can be hacked to meet their dietary needs, according to VeggL. As The Takeout noted, Taco Bell was already in such a good position vis a vis plant-based eaters that it didn't necessarily need to join Burger King, McDonald's, and other quick service restaurants in coming up with plant-based meat offerings, particularly since they have often fallen flat. Also, these meat alternatives have not necessarily been profitable, as McDonald's pulling the plug on the McPlant would suggest.

Nevertheless, Taco Bell leaned into the plant-based meat craze in April 2021 with the introduction of the Cravetarian Taco, which was based on a proprietary blend of peas and chickpeas, per QSR magazine. Simultaneously, it announced a new partnership with Beyond Meat to create a never before seen plant-based protein. Today, Taco Bell announced in a press release that the aforementioned plan has come to fruition.

Beyond Carne Asada Steak is coming to select Taco Bell locations

Starting October 13, 2022, Taco Bell will offer the Beyond Carne Asada Steak in select locations in Dayton, Ohio, according to a press release. Developed in partnership with Beyond Meat, Taco Bell's new plant-based offering is intended to deliver not only the flavor of meat — it's seasoned with Taco Bell's proprietary spice blend — but also the texture of a marinated grilled steak, according to Beyond Meat's Chief Innovation Officer, Dariush Ajami. As an added bonus, this new plant-based product has been certified as vegan by the American Vegetarian Association. 

The Beyond Carne Asada Steak will primarily be available in quesadilla form. But in an effort to make plant-based meat accessible to all, Taco Bell will not charge extra if you swap steak with this meat alternative. In addition, this particular plant-based meat alternative will be available for substitution or addition in all Taco Bell menu items, although it isn't clear if there will be an associated charge.