Going “All Natural” for a restaurant chain as big as Taco Bell is a complex initiative.
Earlier this morning, news broke that Taco Bell has plans to do just that — take most of their menu and make it all natural (Chipotle, Panera Bread anyone?).
The move seems to be a growing industry trend, adopted by some major restaurants better than others. For example, Carl’s Jr. did a shitty job of limping in to the All Natural arena, offering just one burger that they alienated, insinuating it was only non-toxic thing on their menu. Panera Bread ran a much more noble route, self-deprecating themselves in some weird video where their customers couldn’t pronounce their own food ingredients. Chipotle has long been touting All Natural and GMO Free — they made it official 4 weeks ago.
Taco Bell Plans To Remove All Artificial Colors And Flavors By 2015
By the end of 2015, Taco Bell plans to have most all artificial colors, flavors and certain additives removed from the menu. Trans fats, palm oil and high-fructose corn syrup will be gone.
As an example, recipes that once used artificial black pepper flavoring will use natural black pepper, and caramel coloring will be replaced with a natural alternative.
TBell’s CEO Brian Niccol cited the usage of the Taco Bell mobile app as a huge driving force in the ramping up of more natural ingredients. Apparently, the second most visited part of their app was the nutrition calculator. The commitment to more natural ingredients will impact 95% of the menu, likely unable to recreate their soft drinks or colorful frozen Freeze drinks without their scientifically created flavors and colors.
Your Doritos Locos Taco Will Stay Exactly The Same
Like the drinks, the DLT and other co-branded menu items will stay exactly the same.
The Doritos Locos Taco shells include monosodium glutamate, artificial flavors and colorings like Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. Since the DLT shell comes from minds at Frito Lay, we’re guessing making this product all natural requires supply chain changes not just in Taco Bell, but up the Frito Lay chip company chain of command as well.
Taco Bell Doesn’t Plan To Get More Expensive
STILL CHEAP: “The goal we set is not to change our position of being a value leader,” Brian Niccol, Taco Bell CEO said. “We think what’s important is giving everybody access to the food they crave. We are always dealing with inflationary pressure, and our job is to figure out how to handle it.”