Fast-food chain Taco Bell is "starting fresh" in 2021 with plans to launch new Beyond Meat Inc BYND plant-based protein along with the reintroduction of Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes and the Spicy Potato Soft Taco.
What Happened: Taco Bell said in a Thursday press release it is teaming up with Beyond Meat to create a vegan-friendly protein that will be tested in the next year. This would represent the first time the Yum! Brands, Inc. YUM chain offers a plant-based meat alternative product in the U.S.
Taco Bell said it chose to partner with Beyond Meat because of its leadership status in the plant-based category and proven track record of attracting younger customers.
"We have long been a leader in the vegetarian space, but this year, we have more meatless options in store that vegetarians, veggie-curious and even meat-eaters will love," Liz Matthews, Taco Bell's global chief food innovation officer, said in a press release.
Why It's Important: Taco Bell said it has long been a destination for vegetarians, and expanding into the category "isn't just a trend." The restaurant chain was the first to partner with the American Vegetarian Association in 2015 and already offers more than 30 vegetarian ingredients.
The recent menu announcement is part of the chain's efforts to emphasize its "strong continued commitment" to vegetarians, according to Taco Bell.
What's Next: Taco Bell's potatoes and soft tacos will return to the menu on March 11.
YUM, BYND Price Action: Yum shares were up 2.13% at $109.43 at last check Thursday, while Beyond Meat shares were trading 7.65% higher to $134.94.
Photo courtesy of Taco Bell.
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