The Beyond Taco, which rolled out in all 580 stores of the Mexican fast-food chain on April 25, is available in a vegetarian or vegan version costing $2.49 (one dollar more expensive than the standard tacos). The Beyond Meat crumbles are seasoned with Del Taco's signature spice and accompanied by grated cheddar cheese, lettuce, and diced tomatoes. The vegan option replaces the cheese with avocado.
Since then, the chain says its new vegan-friendly taco has driven sales. "Since launching 11 days ago, we are very encouraged by increases in both check and traffic, as this new product platform is bringing in many new or lapsed users and appealing to regular Del Taco guests, who are all eager to sample our Beyond Taco offerings," said CEO John Cappasola.
"We believe the Beyond platform will drive sales while further strengthening our QSR+ [quick-service restaurant-plus] brand position, and we see incredible future opportunity to expand this protein across our menu. We've had stories ... of folks talking about having never been to Del Taco before and this giving them a reason to check out the brand.
"The team did a great job developing a proprietary and unique flavor profile that tastes incredibly similar to our current ground beef, allowing us to broaden its appeal to not only attract vegans and vegetarians but also those looking for 'better-for-you' options or to reduce red meat without sacrificing flavor."
Trialing the vegan tacos
Del Taco first trialed the Beyond Taco in two California outlets in September last year. Speaking about the partnership, Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said: "At Beyond Meat we believe we are in the business of helping you Eat What You Love while enjoying the health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits of plant-based foods.
"Our partnership with Del Taco reflects this belief in action. For my kids and their friends, Del Taco is a routine stop after games or practice. I'm thrilled that they can now, along with all Del Taco customers, enjoy delicious Beyond Tacos and other entrees built with our delicious, sustainable, plant-based meat.
"I'm grateful to Del Taco leadership and team for their willingness to innovate with speed and vision."