Taco Bell is testing a vegan meat alternative at 50 of its US restaurants in Birmingham, Alabama.
According to the fast-food chain, she’s been working on the product — a blend of soy and peas — since 2019.
The exclusive vegan meat will be available on the Crispy Melt Taco, which retails for $2.49.
It consists of a white corn tortilla, filled with shredded cheddar, mozzarella and Monterey Pepper Jack cheeses, hot nacho cheese sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and low-fat sour cream.
Diners can also choose to have the plant-based alternative on any existing Taco Bell item.
A spokesperson for the brand said Forbes that one of the major challenges in creating the product was achieving price parity with traditional meat.
Taco Bell is testing vegan meat
Liz Matthews, chief innovation officer at Taco Bell, told Forbes, “It was important not to have a supplement.
“As a brand, we want to make sure it’s irresistible — as irresistible as our seasoned beef — and democratize the product. We wanted to make sure it was accessible.
Responding to criticism some people have of meat substitutes, she added: “We knew it was possible to get to a point where you can’t tell which is which, but those things take time. Details take time.
In addition to the Taco Bell meat alternative it is testing in Alabama, the company continues to work with Beyond Meat.
The two brands signed a deal in 2021, but have yet to publicly test a product together.
While the chain is still working with the plant giant, it noted that the products the two are creating aren’t tied to Taco Bell’s exclusive option.
Matthews said Forbes that Taco Bell plans to test a product with Beyond Meat in the United States in 2022, though it didn’t reveal what that would be.
You don’t have to go outside to enjoy plant-based tacos. Here are 11 easy vegan taco recipes to try at home
Feature image credit: Taco Bell