We applaud Taco Bell’s commitment to making it easier for customers to eat less meat and believe this is a critical step in improving the lives of factory-farmed animals across the country.
Taco Bell has long been a favorite for those seeking to eat less meat. Since its founding in 1962 by Glen Bell, plant-based items were readily available to customers long before other chains boasted similar offerings. Today, the menu has dozens of delicious, easy-to-spot, plant-based options, including its Black Bean Crunchwrap Supreme, 7-Layer Burrito, and the classic Bean Burrito—the second best-selling menu item of all.
More recently, Taco Bell has been testing new ways to educate customers on its many plant-based options and entice them to eat more beans and less beef. This week, the chain announced that “Veggie Mode”, a single-swipe feature that instantly transforms the menu to show only vegetarian items on self-service ordering kiosks, will roll out nationwide on March 12th.
Ahead of this public announcement, Missy Schaaphok, RDN, Taco Bell’s Global Nutrition & Sustainability Manager told World Animal Protection, “Veggie Mode is a single-swipe feature that unlocks nearly 50 American Vegetarian Association (AVA)-certified items, allowing customers to quickly and easily see a vegetarian-only Taco Bell menu. Think secret menu, but for everyone (carnivores included).”
So how does this innovative feature work exactly? When placing an order at one of Taco Bell’s many self-service kiosks, the easy swipe of a new green icon will activate the new Veggie Mode function. According to the company, many of the unlocked menu items were not previously featured on its menu. This industry-leading feature will make it easier than ever for customers looking to reduce their meat consumption to gain instant access to Taco Bell’s plant-based options.
As always, customers can customize their orders to their liking while in Veggie Mode, making for a total of over 20 million possible plant-based menu combinations. We applaud Taco Bell’s commitment to making it easier for customers to eat less meat and believe this is a critical step in improving the lives of factory-farmed animals across the country.
Factory farming evolved as a means to satisfy an ever-increasing demand for meat. However, with companies like Taco Bell investing in innovative ways to make plant-based eating easier, consumers in the United States—which has one of the highest rates of meat consumption of any country in the world—have the opportunity to reduce their meat consumption and lower the overall demand for low welfare meat. World Animal Protection expects that factory farms can start being phased out, creating a shift towards farming practices that are more sustainable and kinder to animals. Meat reduction has the potential to put an end to many cruel industrial farming practices, such as extreme confinement, the overuse of antibiotics, and brutal mutilations.
Driving this global demand away from factory-farmed meat and towards plant-based eating is companies meeting their customers’ concerns about the planet, their health, and animal welfare. According to a Mintel report on dining out, more than one in five diners want restaurants to offer more plant-based entrees. A report just released by Renub Research predicts the global plant-based meat market to be worth more than $7 billion by the end of 2025.
We’d like to thank Taco Bell for engaging with World Animal Protection and investing in a kinder future. It’s clear that the chain is committed to investing in plant-based offerings and seeks to continue leading in both plant-based digital and food innovation. By making plant-based eating easier, companies like Taco Bell can lead consumers to reduce their consumption of meat that comes from animals suffering at factory farms.
What can you do to help save animals from factory farms? By eating fewer animal products and only consuming meat from small family farms, you can help protect the planet, your health, and countless animals. Join the global movement of people who are committed to creating a kinder future by pledging to #EatLessMeat today!
World Animal Protection is a U.S. registered charity EIN #04-2718182
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