Taco Bell Is Including Vegan Nacho Fries to All 7,836 Areas Nationwide

Since they first hit the menu in 2018, Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries—seasoned fries served with a facet of nacho cheese dipping sauce—have been a top-selling, limited-time merchandise. This yr, the favored fries are again and there’s something new to crave for Taco Bell lovers searching for a dairy-free possibility.

On October 12, Taco Bell will debut Vegan Nacho Sauce that clients can pair with the chain’s vegan-certified Nacho Fries as a substitute of the dairy-based nacho cheese sauce. This marks the fast-food chain’s first vegan providing to be made accessible throughout all of its 7,836 areas.

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The Vegan Nacho Fries will likely be accessible for a restricted time in two sizes: common for $2.19 and a brand new giant dimension for $2.99. This vegan merchandise is obtainable at price parity to its dairy-based counterpart.

“We’re thrilled to reintroduce Nacho Fries, now with a larger-than-life aptitude, and our beloved Vegan Nacho Sauce,” Liz Matthews, International Chief Meals Innovation Officer at Taco Bell, stated in a press release.

“This sauce, born from the success of our Vegan Crunchwrap, represents Taco Bell’s dedication to offering scrumptious, craveable meals for a wide range of existence—whether or not you’re vegan, flexitarian, or need to attempt one thing new, there’s a spot for you at our desk,” she stated.

Taco Bell’s first vegan nacho sauce 

Taco Bell’s first nationwide vegan menu merchandise comes after an “overwhelmingly optimistic” take a look at of a Vegan Crunchwrap in June at three areas in Los Angeles, CA, New York Metropolis, NY, and Orlando, FL. The Crunchwrap, included plant-based beef and dairy-free “blanco sauce,” which represented the chain’s first-ever foray into vegan dairy, surpassed each gross sales and suggestions expectations. 

The Vegan Crunchwrap served because the testing floor for its Vegan Nacho Sauce, which is created from a base of chickpeas and soy. The sauce is now getting into the limelight in a brand new kind after years of “meticulous” growth which concerned “rigorous testing and refinement to create a sauce that may elevate the menu choices,” the chain reveals to VegNews.  

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“We’re past thrilled to introduce Nacho Fries with Vegan Nacho Sauce nationwide,” Missy Schaaphok, Director of International Vitamin and Sustainability at Taco Bell, tells VegNews. “Following our profitable Vegan Crunchwrap take a look at, that is one other stepping stone on our journey to proceed to supply inclusive and accessible choices to all our followers.”

“Taco Bell has all the time been about pushing culinary boundaries and offering craveable choices, and the Vegan Nacho Sauce embodies our dedication to innovation whereas catering to a variety of existence,” Schaaphok says. 

The meat element within the Vegan Crunchwrap was additionally an in-house invention that Taco Bell first examined at one location in Tustin, CA in 2021. Earlier than testing it out within the Crunchwrap alongside the vegan cheese sauce, Taco Bell expanded the vegan meat, which it calls “actual seasoned plant-based protein” to menus at roughly 95 Detroit, MI areas after which 50 Birmingham, AL outposts for a restricted time final yr. 

There, clients may additionally order the vegan meat—created from a mix of soy and pea proteins—instead of beef in tacos, burritos, and extra for a similar value as its animal-derived counterpart.

“Taco Bell labored arduous to innovate and develop a plant-based protein that’s simply as craveable as Taco Bell’s iconic actual seasoned beef,” a Taco Bell spokesperson instructed VegNews on the time. “We consider that followers ought to by no means need to compromise style for his or her cravings and dietary selections.”

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Throughout this take a look at, Taco Bell provided the plant-based beef as a part of Nachos BellGrande and Crispy Soften Taco—two objects made with dairy cheese. When VegNews requested if vegan cheese improvements have been on the way in which, Schaaphok beforehand defined that whereas the main focus was plant-based meat, the chain had its eye on the dairy-free area. 

Quick-forward to at present, Taco Bell was certainly watching the area, confirmed by its launch of the Vegan Nacho Sauce. Is vegan beef subsequent?

Taco Bell’s different plant-based improvements

In 2021, Taco Bell’s vegetarian choices represented greater than 12 % of its gross sales and the chain is trying to bolster that quantity with new innovation. In asserting its first nationwide vegan dairy merchandise, Taco Bell has hinted that extra vegan-friendly choices are on the way in which. 

Along with its in-house plant-based beef, Taco Bell has been working with vegan model Past Meat since 2021 to develop proprietary proteins. Whereas rumors swirled that the deal had been canceled earlier than the innovation was revealed, Taco Bell confirmed to VegNews that this was not the case earlier than it introduced the take a look at launch of Past Carne Asada. 

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Final October, the vegan steak—created to imitate the chain’s present animal-derived marinated steak—hit the menu at almost 50 Taco Bell areas in Dayton, OH for a restricted time, the place it was additionally accessible at value parity to its animal counterpart. 

Outdoors of beef and dairy, Taco Bell has additionally beforehand experimented with plant-based hen inside its innovation kitchen in Irvine, CA. Right here, the chain examined a really restricted run of the Bare Chalupa with a Crispy Plant-Based mostly Shell. 

None of these things have but to discover a place on the nationwide menu however Taco Bell’s launch of the Vegan Nacho Sauce signifies that something is feasible.

“We’re consistently listening to what our followers are asking us to do and evolving our menu to fulfill their wants and the demand,” Marissa Thiry, Taco Bell’s Senior Vitamin Specialist, beforehand instructed VegNews. 

“Whereas we’ve had vegetarian choices on our menu because the very first Taco Bell opened with the bean and cheese burrito, we all know that clients are nonetheless asking for extra plant-based choices, so we’re consistently what’s subsequent and what we will carry to them that’s distinctive to Taco Bell and that delivers to them what they’re searching for,” Thiry stated. 

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