Taco Bell is trying out Beyond Meat this month: The plant-based protein will appear in Beyond Carne Asada Steak, available at a limited number of Taco Bel locations starting Oct. 13.
It replicates the "taste and texture of marinated, grilled steak," Dariush Ajami, Beyond Meat's chief innovation officer, said in a statement, and can be added to quesadillas, tacos and other menu items for the same price as traditional beef steak.
"We've long believed that anyone should be able to choose plant-based menu items without compromising the flavors they crave," Liz Matthews, Taco Bell's global chief food innovation officer, said in a statement.
Made from a variety of plant-based ingredients, including wheat gluten and faba bean protein, Beyond Meat has already appeared on menus at McDonald's, Dunkin, Del Taco and Carl's Jr. It's also been tested out at KFC and Pizza Hut -- both of which, like Taco Bell, are subsidiaries of Yum Brands.
For now, Beyond Carne Asada Steak will only be available at approximately 50 Taco Bell locations around Dayton, Ohio. A spokesperson did not say whether there were plans to roll the item out wider.
"As for the future, we never say never," the rep told CNET in an email. "As we listen to fans, we're constantly evolving our offerings, plant-based and otherwise."
Last year, vegetarian options represented more than 12% of Taco Bell's total sales., the company said. In August, it tested a proprietary soy-and-pea protein for its Crispy Melt Taco at locations in Birmingham, Alabama. And Taco Bells nationwide continue to offer black beans and pinto beans as regular protein options.
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