Fast-food chain Taco Bell confirmed this week that it will not be adding vegan meat options from Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods to its menu. The chain will instead focus on optimizing its existing menu to make it easier for customers to order meat-free options by expanding its dedicated vegetarian menu nationwide. “We’ve looked. We’ve met with Beyond [Meat], we’ve met with Impossible [Foods]—our head of innovation knows everybody, and they all know her,” Julie Felss Masino, Taco Bell’s president of North American operations, told CNBC. “But I think what we’re proud of is that we’ve been doing vegetarian for 57 years. Vegetarians know that about Taco Bell. They know that they can come in and customize.” During a press event in April, Taco Bell Chief Food Innovation Officer Elizabeth Matthews teased a menu upgrade when VegNews pressed her about plant-based meat and cheese options, stating, “You’re going to be surprised with what we launch after this.” Earlier this week, competing chain Del Taco expanded its partnership with Beyond Meat to include two new burrito options after selling nearly two million tacos filled with its specially seasoned plant-based crumbles within two months of adding the new menu items to its more than 580 locations nationwide.

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