As of June 15, 2017, fast food chain Taco Bell replaced all of its seasoned rice with vegan-certified rice at all store locations. In April, Taco Bell removed its vegan rice option (temporarily replacing it with a vegetarian rice that contained butter) to develop a vegan Mexican-style “seasoned rice”—which is now the only option on the menu and is certified vegan by the American Vegetarian Association. While Taco Bell’s senior nutrition strategist Missy Schaaphok (formerly Nelson) previously estimated that the company would relaunch the vegan rice at the end of the summer, Taco Bell added the option much earlier than expected. “We worked closely with our supplier to make it happen as quickly as possible to let our vegan fans know we were committed,” Taco Bell spokesperson Alec Boyle tells VegNews. “We recognize we have a lot of vegans and vegetarians who come to us, and that even meat-eaters and flexitarians come to us and enjoy our vegan products, like our bean burrito. We know vegans often find themselves limited to sides and fries when they dine out at other places, so providing craveable, affordable vegan choices is a core part of our food commitments.” Last year, the eatery launched a “How to Eat Vegan at Taco Bell” guide—which has since been updated to include the vegan rice option—to make it easier for customers to order cruelty-free options.
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