Taco Bell customers recently took to the streets to air their grievances against the chain’s decision to remove potatoes, a longtime vegan favorite, from its menu. A viral video posted on TikTok by vegan San Diego resident Devin Blackburn shows two protestors holding signs in front of Taco Bell that read “Taco Bell Hates Vegans” and “Honk for Del.” In the video, one of the protestors reveals that his sister is vegan and that she’s “pissed about the potatoes.”
In July, Taco Bell announced it would be removing 12 menu items to streamline its operations, including the now gone potatoes, and hinted that new plant-based options were on the way. “While change is hard, a simplified menu and innovation process will leave room for new fan favorites, continued progress in categories such as plant-based diets, and even opportunities for the return of some classics on a limited-time basis,” the company stated about the menu change.
Since then, Taco Bell has added several new options such as a cheese-covered Toasted Black Beat Toasted Cheddar Chalupa, cheese-slathered Veggie Nachos Party Pack, and the Black Bean Chalupa (which can be ordered vegan by requesting it “al fresco”) to its Veggie Cravings menu but has not made any substantial move into the plant-based meat space.
Meanwhile, competing chain Del Taco—referenced in one of the protestor’s signs—added vegan tacos filled with specially seasoned Beyond Meat crumbles to its more than 580 locations in March 2019 and further expanded its menu this year to include one-pound vegan burritos filled with vegan meat crumbles, avocado, rice, black beans, and two different salsas.