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Taco Bell planning vegetarian menu to broaden appeal

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
Taco Bell will unveil a new vegetarian menu at select stores this year, the chain said. Photo by dcwcreations/ Shutterstock/UPI
Taco Bell will unveil a new vegetarian menu at select stores this year, the chain said. Photo by dcwcreations/ Shutterstock/UPI

Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Taco Bell plans to unveil a vegetarian menu this year, hoping to become the go-to fast food chain for non-meat eaters, the company said.

Yum Brands-owned Taco Bell said Thursday it will test the new vegetarian menu, which will features new and old items at select stores, later this year.

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Taco Bell is the only American Vegetarian Association-certified quick-serve restaurant in the United States. It boasts 8 million vegetarian combinations.

The move could improve Taco Bell's image with younger customers, who are more likely to be vegetarian. It could also be more appealing to health-conscious eaters who eat meat but are looking for occasional alternatives.

The move is part of the chain's "commitments" for 2019.

Taco Bell also announced it plans to remove all artificial colors and flavors from its existing menu -- as well as preservatives and additives.

"From simplifying our ingredients while improving food quality, to creating more new jobs to improving our recycling efforts, these are just some of our promises to keep doing even better and being even better, and they are promises that we know we will keep," Taco Bell President Julie Masino said in a statement.

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Other changes include using sustainable beef, improving recycling efforts, adding more items to the dollar menu, creating more jobs and supporting the Taco Bell Foundation.

Competitor Chipotle recently implemented a whole new menu, featuring lifestyle bowls only available for order through the chain's mobile app. The move is aimed at people following protein-rich diets.

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