October 01, 2015 // Franchising.com // IRVINE, Calif. – Taco Bell® is now the first QSR to offer menu items certified by the American Vegetarian Association (AVA), the industry’s recognized standard in vegetarian labeling. With more than 6,000 restaurants across the U.S. and a new vegetarian menu category launching today on its mobile ordering app and ta.co – the brand’s new web site – Taco Bell is leading the way when it comes providing easy, accessible vegetarian menu items that don’t compromise on variety or taste.
The latest in Taco Bell’s Food for All journey – focused on providing customers with choice, transparency and simplicity – the new AVA-certified menu takes its commitment to choice a step further, meeting the evolving needs of vegetarians and flexitarians. With roughly a quarter of consumers eating more vegetarian now than in 2013, Taco Bell recognized the opportunity to make access to vegetarian options easier than before.
“At Taco Bell, vegetarians are not an afterthought. We sell more than 350 million vegetarian menu items each year, but until now haven’t been vocal about it,” said Brian Niccol, CEO, Taco Bell Corp. “The recent launch of ta.co which makes customization easy made this the perfect time to move our vegetarian menu from the background to the forefront to further illustrate our commitment to delivering food that fits our customers’ evolving lifestyles.”
Taco Bell’s Vegetarian menu offers 13 AVA-certified menu items – like the 7-Layer Burrito and Cantina Power Veggie Bowl. Customers can also hack the menu with any of the 35 AVA certified vegetarian ingredients (26 of which are also vegan) and substitute beans for meat to create one of millions of different possible veggie-friendly combinations. Just launched this week, the new ta.co allows customers to personalize each order, so ordering meat-free has never been easier or more fun.
“We get it – being a vegetarian can be tough when you go out to eat,” said Niccol. “ We’re proud to treat meat lovers and vegetarians equally – equally delicious, equally craveable and equally affordable.”
Taco Bell continues to evolve the QSR experience with a fresh perspective on menu innovation – food that’s customizable and fits people’s lifestyles, without compromise on taste. In May, Taco Bell announced a commitment to simplifying its food with the removal of all artificial flavors and colors, as well as added trans fat, high fructose corn syrup and unsustainable palm oil bythe end of 2015. Taco Bell also answered customer demand for transparency by updating its website with user-friendly ingredient statements and a new nutrition calculator.
Check out Taco Bell’s social channels to stay up to date on the latest Taco Bell news: Facebook.com/tacobell (Facebook), YouTube.com/tacobell (YouTube), @TacoBell (Twitter), tacobell (Instagram) and @tacobell (Periscope).
Taco Bell Corp. , a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE: YUM), is the nation's leading Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant. Taco Bell serves made to order and customizable tacos, burritos, and specialties such as the exclusive Doritos® Locos Tacos, gourmet-inspired Cantina Power® Menu and lower calorie Fresco options. Taco Bell Breakfast offers portable, classic items such as the A.M. Crunchwrap, Biscuit Taco and signature breakfast burritos. The company encourages customers to “Live Más,” both through its food and in ways such as its Feed The Beat® music program and its nonprofit organization, the Taco Bell® Foundation™. Taco Bell and its more than 350 franchise organizations have nearly 6,000 restaurants across the United States that proudly serve more than 36 million customers every week.
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SOURCE Taco Bell Corp.