Apr 25, 2023

Taco Bell is testing a vegan version of an iconic menu item

Taco Bell said it will begin testing a vegan Crunchwrap on Thursday, June 8, 2023, in three major cities. (Photo provided by Taco Bell)

Taco Bell said it took years to a vegan version of one of its iconic menu items that will be tested in three major cities in the United States.

The vegan Crunchwrap will be available while supplies last starting on June 8, 2023, in Los Angeles, California; Orlando, Florida; and New York City, New York - all places with "notable vegan populations," the restaurant said.

Taco Bell said the vegan Crunchwrap "features vegan seasoned beef, which is a proprietary, boldly seasoned plant-based protein that has been in the works for years. It's topped with cool vegan blanco sauce and warm vegan nacho sauce, which have also long been in development to refine proprietary flavors."

The vegan Crunchwrap also includes traditional ingredients such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and a tostada shell.

"Such a large part of our fandom is vegan or vegetarian, and we’re as committed to them as they are to us and our menu," said Liz Matthews, global chief food innovation officer at Taco Bell.

"That's why we took so long, months and years, to release something this special; we wanted and needed to get it exactly right, to get it mouth-watering. Because let's admit it, we’ve all eaten plenty of products on today's market that don't taste great and certainly aren't craveable."

Taco Bell said all of the ingredients are "certified vegan by the American Vegetarian Association. ... Since the product was crafted as the perfectly complementary combination, the proprietary plant-based ingredients will be unavailable for individual orders."

Taco Bell said it is offering the trial "to gauge customer feedback and inform future menu developments."

"Our fans are always hacking our customizable menu to try new options, especially veggie-forward," said Missy Schaaphok, director of global nutrition and sustainability at Taco Bell. "So now we’re hacking the hack, if you will, with a product that's completely vegan as-is, right off the menu. I may be biased, but no veggie burger could compare."

Taco Bell said it defines vegan as having no animal ingredients but in some restaurants, "we use the same frying oil to prepare menu items that may or may not contain animal ingredients. Vegan and animal ingredients are handled in common and cross-contact may occur."

While we can't try to vegan Crunchwrap yet in central Pa., we can enjoy the Volcano menu slated to return on June 26.

READ MORE: Krispy Kreme seeking ‘Chief Doughnut Dreamer’ to create a new flavor and get a yearlong sweet deal.

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