The new plant-based Carne Asada steak by Taco Bell in collaboration with Beyond Meat is the first of its kind in the quick service industry. The product is made from vegan ingredients.

Taco Bell announces testing Beyond Carne Asada Steak

Taco Bell, the American fast food restaurant chain, announced recently that it is introducing Beyond Carne Asada Steak in collaboration with Beyond Meat. The menu item will be available as part of the pilot testing at 50 locations in Dayton, Ohio from October 13.
Liz Matthews, Taco Bell's global chief food innovation officer, said that the new item was based on the belief that people should be able to choose plant-based menu items without compromising on the flavors they want.
"The new plant-based Carne Asada steak by Taco Bell, in partnership with Beyond Meat, is the first of its kind in the quick service industry. This is the latest in our history of crafting unique, crave-worthy offerings," Matthews added.
The collaboration with Taco Bell is Beyond Meat's first plant-based steak product, and the product is made of vegan ingredients like vital wheat gluten and faba bean protein.

The Taco Bell Beyond Meat collaboration

The new Beyond Carne Asada Steak is the first market test product launched from the Taco Bell-Beyond Meat partnership, which was initiated in February 2021. Yum! Brands, Taco Bell's parent company, signed a three-year deal with Beyond Meats to co-create menu items. The new menu item is being launched less than a year after rumors about the first Carne Asada Steak being sent back to the drawing board.
Talking about creating the Beyond Carne Asada Steak, Dariush Ajami, Beyond Meat's chief innovation officer, said that the item was designed to complement the bold, savory flavors that Taco Bell is known for.
He added that they are excited about the launch as it is a step towards providing diverse protein options that are better for the planet without compromising on taste. Ajami promised that Beyond Carne Asada Steak, made from ingredients such as faba beans and Taco Bell's signature spices, delivers the taste and texture of marinated, grilled steak with the benefits of plant-based meat.
The Beyond Carne Asada Steak, made without GMOs or added hormones, is said to be certified vegan by the American Vegetarian Association (AVA). The steak will be featured in a quesadilla and priced the same as a traditional steak quesadilla.

Taco Bell plans for the new collab

The new Beyond Carne Asada Steak will be priced the same as the traditional steak quesadilla, and the fast food chain is keeping the option open for customers to add the plant-based protein to any menu item at no extra cost to swap out.
Taco Bell's Beyond Carne Asada Steak, being launched in Dayton, is the start of a first-of-its-kind Unique Food item in Taco Bell's attempt to provide affordable access to plant-based products.
Chief Innovation Officer Liza Matthews said that keeping the price the same as the traditional option was critical to ensure accessibility. Until now, plant-based meat substitutes have been priced at around 40% higher than animal-based meat.
If the product is successful, it will benefit Beyond Meat too, which has been struggling with a drop in stock prices. The company is facing competition in the plant-based category and has been under inflationary pressures. The company's collaboration with McDonald's, the McPlant product, was also pulled from menus due to underwhelming sales.

Taco Bell’s current plant based meat options

Taco Bell's announcement of launching the Beyond Carne Asada Steak in collaboration with Beyond Meat comes just a month after the launch of the plant-based Crispy Melt Taco in Birmingham, Alabama. The new taco is priced at $2.49 and customers can order either beef or the plant-based protein at the same cost, a rarity since Menu Pricing for plant-based meat options at many fast-food chains is the highest.
Taco Bell has always found favor with vegetarians and vegans for years due to its customizable menu, and the chain recently started experimenting with plant-based alternatives. The new menu item is not the first plant-based meat option by Taco Bell. The restaurant chain announced its plans to offer plant-based meats in 2020. Since then, Taco Bell has pilot tested several versions of its plant-based ground beef, which include the Cravetarian Taco and the most recent being the Crispy Melt Taco.
The Beyond Carne Asada Steak has been a year in the making after the three-year deal for plant-based menu items was signed by Yum! in 2021. The fast food chain has also tested plant-based chicken at its Irvine, CA location with the Naked Chalupa with a Crispy Plant-Based Shell as a substitute for the Naked Chicken Chalupa, where the shell was made of chicken crafted from a proprietary pea protein-based blend.

What are plant-based meats?

Plant-based meats are made from plants to feel, taste, and appear like real meat. Some examples of plant-based meat are seitan, which is made from vital wheat gluten and has a chewy texture and savory flavor, or soy-based foods, which have a mild flavor and can be used in many traditional meat-based dishes.
Plant-based meats are healthier as they contain less saturated fat and calories and are also a rich source of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fiber. Most plant-based meats have a plant base like soybeans, peas, or wheat, which are stripped down to high-protein, low-fiber, colorless powders mixed with preservatives, oils, and natural or artificial coloring. But they are better for animal welfare and the environment.
Some studies have shown that people who ate two or more servings per day of plant-based meat instead of animal meat for eight weeks had lower levels of TMAO (a risk factor for cardiovascular disease) and LDL cholesterol. Keep in mind that all plant-based meats are not vegan and some contain eggs, cheese, or milk.

Know more about Taco Bell

Taco Bell is a fast food restaurant chain founded in 1962 by Glen Bell in Downey, California. It is now a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, which also owns Pizza Hut, KFC, and The Habit Burger Grill. The restaurant chain is known for its Mexican-inspired foods like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and a variety of value menu items. Taco Bell has over 7,000 restaurants across the United States and 26 other countries.
The fast food chain has been a leader in the vegetarian category and launched a dedicated vegetarian menu in 2019. It was the first quick-service chain to be certified by the American Vegetarian Association in 2015.

Know more about Beyond Meats

Beyond Meat is a Los Angeles-based company that produces plant-based meat substitutes. It was established in 2009 by Ethan Brown, and the initial products were launched in the United States in 2012. The company offers plant-based options in the beef, pork, and poultry categories. Beyond Meat products can be found in over 183,000 grocery stores, restaurants, and hotels, among others, in over 80 countries worldwide.
The company, after announcing the collaboration with Taco Bell, is now in a favorable position as the global plant-based market is expected to expand by more than 20% per year by 2028, as per a report.