Mea culpa from Taco Bell to Vegetarians: Potatoes are back and it will test the Beyond Meat menu item

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Taco Bell brings back its Cheesy Fiesta potatoes and its moist taco with spicy potatoes

Taco Bell

Taco Bell wants to bring back its vegetarian customers.

The Yum Brands chain is resurrecting its popular potatoes and will test a menu item with a Beyond Meat substitute after last year’s menu cuts disappointed its meatless clientele.

Taco Bell eliminated eight menu options in two rounds of cuts to help streamline operations when the coronavirus pandemic resulted in long lines at its drive-thru. The cult Mexican pizza releases and other items angered vegetarians, who have fewer fast food options to choose from, though the chain said it still has more than 30 meatless ingredients.

“We really knew our fans would tell us about some of the things that we took out, but we knew we had to do it to make sure our team members had the best experience,” said Liz Matthews, Head of global supply of Taco Bell. innovation agent.

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Starting March 11, customers will be able to order the Chewy Spicy Potato Taco and Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes for the first time since leaving in September. The soft taco potato filling was popular with meatless customers.

Matthews said the chain is planning new menu items using these potatoes. For customers who are hoping items like the Nachos Supreme will return, the chain has no plans to bring back any more at this time.

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In another call to vegetarian customers, Taco Bell plans to test an item made with a Beyond Meat vegetarian substitute this year. For now, Taco Bell is keeping a low profile on how it will be used.

“I would say it will be unique to things you’ve seen elsewhere, so we’re definitely going to put our Taco Bell innovation and turn it on,” Matthews said.

In 2019, as the plant-based meat trend took hold, Julie Felss Masino, then North America’s chief operating officer, told TBEN that the chain had met Beyond and its rival Impossible Foods but decided to s ‘stick to your own vegetarian options. Masino is now President of Taco Bell International.

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Taco Bell is a brand that we don’t want to do what everyone else does, ”Matthews said. We want to do it our way. “

Yum is expected to report its fourth quarter results on February 4, which would include for the first time the impact of Taco Bell’s menu cuts. In the third quarter of the burrito chain, it saw same-store sales growth of 3%.

Yum’s shares have risen 7% in the past year, giving it a market value of over $ 32 billion. Its US restaurants, including KFC and Pizza Hut, saw same-store sales return to growth, but international locations remained under pressure in the third quarter.

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