It's one of the food quality, environmental, and corporate commitments the fast food chain is making in 2019.

By Food & Wine
Updated: January 14, 2019
Photo: George Sheldon/Shutterstock.com

Is there any bigger trend in fast food right now than appealing to vegetarians, vegans, and flexitarians? We've seen examples like the Impossible Burger landing at White Castle and the Beyond Burger launching at Carl's Jr. Speaking of which, Del Taco now offers Beyond Meat options on its menu. And even Pizza Hut UK recently unveiled a vegan jackfruit pizza. Now, the already vegetarian-friendly chain Taco Bell has announced it wants to make an even bigger vegetarian push as part of its commitments for 2019.

"As the only American Vegetarian Association-certified QSR, Taco Bell has more than 8 million vegetarian combinations," the brand reminds us in the announcement, "and there are plenty of gratifying meatless options from which to choose as well - enough to customize a new meal every day for nearly 20,000 years." However, Taco Bell still believes more can be done, so the Tex-Mex brand has announced that later this year, it "will be testing its first, dedicated vegetarian menu in stores, as well as new featured vegetarian items to enjoy" which would include some vegan options as well. Could that mean that Taco Bell is in talks for a big plant-based partnership of its own? The company doesn't say, though in the current climate, it certainly wouldn't be surprising. (Related: McDonald's Commits to Make Happy Meals Healthier by 2022)

Meanwhile, the Bell lists six other goals for the new year, most of which also fall in line with current industry trends. The company promises to use "simpler, higher quality ingredients," to "work to ensure all of its beef is sustainable," and to "improve recycling efforts, one cup at a time." They also vow to continue towards their goal of creating 100,000 new U.S. jobs by 2022 and to support the Taco Bell Foundation scholarship program. Finally, Taco Bell says it's making a commitment to "not make consumers choose between affordability and craveability" - which sounds more like an advertising slogan than an actual goal… but hey, if it keeps the price of a chalupa down, why not? (Related: The Healthiest Things You Can Order from the McDonald's Menu)

"We decided to scratch the idea of New Year's resolutions and instead make New Year's commitments," Julie Masino, President of North America at Taco Bell, said in a statement. "And they are promises that we know we will keep." That's good to hear because there's nothing worse than being lied to by Taco Bell.

This story was originally published on FoodandWine.com by Mike Pomranz.

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