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Taco Bell Will Be Testing Its Next Major Menu Innovation Next Month

The “first-of-its kind, category-disrupting product" is coming to select locations.

Meatless options are taking over at America's favorite Tex-Mex chain.

Taco Bell, which prides itself on being a vegetarian leader in the fast-food industry, has long offered options such as the Black Bean Crunchwrap Supreme, Cheesy Roll Ups, and Veggie Mexican Pizza through its "Veggie Cravings" menu.

But those meatless efforts have been ramped up in recent years, with the chain's experimentation with plant-based options. There have been a few trials of proprietary plant-based proteins, including the Cravetarian Taco and Crispy Melt Taco, both featuring a pea and chickpea protein blend, as well as a plant-based shell for its famed Naked Chalupa.

And now, the next major plant-based option has landed on the Live Mas menu. Taco Bell has announced the launch of Beyond Carne Asada Steak, a certified vegan protein that will be tested at select locations in Dayton, Ohio, starting on October 13.

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The Beyond Carne Asada Steak is Taco Bell's first plant-based option to be released in collaboration with Beyond Meat. The partnership between Taco Bell's parent company Yum! Brands and the plant-based started in early 2021, but the rollout of the carne asada was delayed after the first version failed to meet Taco Bell's expectations.

taco bell beyond carne asada steak quesadilla
Courtesy of Taco Bell

This new and improved Beyond Carne Asada Steak is made up of only simple plant-based ingredients while still packing all that familiar flavor of Taco Bell's signature spices.

"We know that consumers are looking for diverse protein options that are better for the planet without compromising on taste, so we're incredibly excited to launch our brand-new, innovative Beyond Carne Asada Steak," explained Beyond Meat's Chief Innovation Officer Dariush Ajami in Taco Bell's press release. "Designed to specifically complement the bold, savory flavors that Taco Bell is known for, Beyond Carne Asada Steak delivers the flavorful, delicious taste and texture of marinated, grilled steak with the added benefits of plant-based meat."

Offering a low-cost meatless option was also a major consideration for the joint Taco Bell and Beyond Meat team, as they ideated and saw through the long-awaited launch. This is why customers can try out the new protein for the same cost of Taco Bell's traditional steak. Additionally, the new Beyond Carne Asada Steak is featured on the menu in a quesadilla, but can be swapped into any other menu item for countless new flavor combinations.

Megan Hageman
Megan is a freelance writer based in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Megan
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