On January 7, fast-food chain Taco Bell will add vegan meat to the menu at its 53 locations across the United Kingdom. The chain’s vegan meat is made by Finnish brand Gold & Green Foods from a mixture of oats, pea protein, and fava bean protein and is available as a substitute for animal-derived meat in any menu item. The launch is a nationwide expansion of a trial run that Taco Bell conducted at three locations during National Vegetarian Week (May 13 through May 19) in 2019. The chain also offers the oat-based vegan meat option at select locations in Europe, including in Finland and Spain.
Taco Bell in the US
Stateside, the chain does not currently offer vegan meat options but has made it easier to order plant-based food in recent years. In 2016, Taco Bell released its “How to Eat Vegan at Taco Bell” guide and in 2019, added vegetarian menu boards at all locations nationwide. In July, in a bid to streamline its business and make room for new options, the chain removed 12 items from its permanent menu, including vegetarian-favorite potatoes—which led to some creative forms of protest.
Despite Taco Bell’s prior hesitation to add vegan meat to its US locations, new CEO Mark King revealed in February 2020 that he met with plant-based meat brands and aimed to add a vegan meat option to the Taco Bell menu within one year.