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In case you haven’t heard, there is a growing movement happening in the world of food. People are looking to cut out milk and cheese from their everyday lives, and reduce their overall meat consumption. For some, this means going meatless on Mondays. Others are opting for dairy-free milk alternatives for their morning coffee. And of course, people are searching for meat-free dishes to eat, whether that means cooking at home or going out to eat.

Luckily, there are a vast number of resources nowadays to help people incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet. Taco Bell is the perfect example of a company that is trying to make it easier for people to eat plant-based and they are certainly boasting their veg-friendliness to reach more consumers. You may be thinking – why is Taco Bell going above and beyond to help people eat plant-based? After all, it’s fast food, are people going to Taco Bell really looking to eat a plant-based meal? And to that, we say: definitely!

Taco Bell sells about 350 million vegetarian items a year and about seven percent of all items ordered at Taco Bell are either vegetarian-friendly or made vegetarian-friendly by substitution or removal. Considering that one in 10 millennials is a vegetarian or vegan and both meat and dairy consumption has gone down significantly since the 1970s, these numbers are completely aligned with the larger trends we are seeing in the food space. 

In October 2015, Taco Bell became the first ever Quick Service Restaurant to offer menu items certified by the American Vegetarian Association. And a few months ago, the fast food chain released a guide called “How to Eat Vegetarian and Meatless at Taco Bell,” and was met with some very happy customers. In fact, the guide was such a success, that TB fans began to wonder whether they could find vegan options too. Well, the people asked, and Taco Bell delivered. Just recently, the chain released “How to Eat Vegan at Taco Bell.” The guide outlines which ingredients to subtract from menu items (beef, nacho cheese, sour cream), and which ones consumers could potentially add (Fresco tomatoes, guacamole, black beans). The guide also includes a helpful list of all of the vegan-certified ingredients at Taco Bell, which highlights items that may not be obvious like the sauces, tortilla shells, flat bread, and the fire roasted salsa.

Taco Bell may not be the most wholesome food available to eat, but let’s be realistic, everyone has the craving for greasy, comforting fast food every once in a while. And while some chains don’t bother to include items that aren’t dripping in cheese or stuffed with meat (we’re looking at you, McDonalds) other chains see the trend of plant-based eating and are rising to the occasion to show people that yes, delicious food can be made without meat or dairy! Taco Bells knows that by providing meat-free and dairy-free options, they are giving more options to people who frequent fast food joints – vegan or not – and who doesn’t love more options? If we’re ever going to effectively change the food system, we need to see these efforts as victories, after all, to build the future of food we need as many people on board as possible, from the healthiest eateries right down to fast food. To learn more about how you can eat vegan at Taco Bell, click here.

Lead image source: Taco Bell