Inspired by fans’ passion for the many vegan and vegetarian options on its customizable menu, Taco Bell is testing a modern twist on a menu classic
IRVINE, Calif., June 7, 2023 — True Taco Bell fans have long been in the know on the extensive vegan and vegetarian options available through its customizable menu. After years of testing and tasting, the creative chefs behind the Taco Bell Test Kitchen unlocked the perfect recipe for its first fully vegan entree item: the Vegan Crunchwrap.
Just like how its original counterpart disrupted the quick service scene years ago, the Vegan Crunchwrap puts a new twist on what it means to enjoy vegan food. Craveable and convenient, the Vegan Crunchwrap features vegan seasoned beef, which is a proprietary, boldly seasoned plant-based protein that has been in the works for years. It’s topped with cool vegan blanco sauce and warm vegan nacho sauce, which have also long been in development to refine proprietary flavors. It will be available in cities with notable vegan populations — Los Angeles, New York City and Orlando — starting June 8 for a limited time, while supplies last.*
“Such a large part of our fandom is vegan or vegetarian, and we’re as committed to them as they are to us and our menu,” said Liz Matthews, Global Chief Food Innovation Officer at Taco Bell. “That’s why we took so long, months and years, to release something this special; we wanted and needed to get it exactly right, to get it mouth-watering. Because let’s admit it, we’ve all eaten plenty of products on today’s market that don’t taste great and certainly aren’t craveable.”
The Vegan Crunchwrap is also filled with classic ingredients like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and a crunchy tostada shell. All ingredients are certified vegan** by the American Vegetarian Association.*** Since the product was crafted as the perfectly complementary combination, the proprietary plant-based ingredients will be unavailable for individual orders.
Access to delicious, affordable vegan and vegetarian options has long been important to Taco Bell. That’s why this Crunchwrap iteration will be offered at price parity to the signature one during this limited time run, with Crunchwrap prices always varying by local market. Like its other product tests, Taco Bell will be trialing this innovation to gauge customer feedback and inform future menu developments.
“Our fans are always hacking our customizable menu to try new options, especially veggie-forward,” said Missy Schaaphok, Director of Global Nutrition and Sustainability at Taco Bell. “So now we’re hacking the hack, if you will, with a product that’s completely vegan as-is, right off the menu. I may be biased, but no veggie burger could compare.”
Beyond this offering, Taco Bell’s vegetarian options already appeal to a broad consumer base, making up over 23% of products sold in 2022. With over 30 vegetarian*** ingredients that can be combined for nearly one million combinations, Taco Bell has long had an array of delicious options for any craving. Fans have never had to compromise on flavor or appetite, with everyone, including meat lovers, able to customize most of their orders to be vegetarian or vegan, or even just swap meat for refried beans, black beans or potatoes. From legendary creations to experimental collabs, the Vegan Crunchwrap is just the latest result of Taco Bell’s menu ingenuity.
*Available at participating Taco Bell locations for a limited time only, including Los Angeles (6741 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028), New York City (976 6th Ave, New York, NY 10018) and Orlando (11893 East Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32826). While supplies last. Contact participating restaurant for hours and participation which vary. Tax extra. Prices may be higher for delivery and other service fees may apply.
**Taco Bell defines “vegan” as containing no animal ingredients. It’s important to note, however, that in some restaurants we use the same frying oil to prepare menu items that may or may not contain animal ingredients. Vegan and animal ingredients are handled in common and cross-contact may occur. Taco Bell’s vegan ingredients are certified by the American Vegetarian Association. Neither Taco Bell, our employees, our franchisees or the AVA assume any responsibility for such cross-contact.
***American Vegetarian Association-certified vegetarian food items are lacto-ovo, allowing consumption of dairy and eggs but not animal byproducts. Vegetarian and meat ingredients are handled in common, and cross contact may occur, which may not be acceptable to certain types of vegetarian diets. Neither Taco Bell, our employees, franchisees nor the AVA assume any responsibility for such cross contact.
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