- Select Taco Bell locations in Ohio will soon feature Beyond Meat carne asada on its menus starting Oct. 13.
- The partnership officially began in early 2021, but took longer than expected to perfect the recipe.
- The announcement comes amid Beyond Meat COO's arrest and suspension for alleged assault.
Fast-food fans seeking more plant-based menu options can rejoice as Taco Bell prepares to introduce its new vegan-friendly carne asada.
Developed in collaboration with Beyond Meat, the carne asada will debut in select locations in Dayton, Ohio for a limited time beginning on October 13. The faux meat will be available as part of a quesadilla, but customers can also opt to substitute it for any protein on the menu for the same cost, according to Taco Bell.
The long-awaited protein option comes after Yum Brands first inked a deal with Beyond Meat in early 2021. In December, Bloomberg reported the collaboration was taking longer than expected as the team worked to make a meat alternative that satisfied Taco Bell.
"At Taco Bell, we've long believed that anyone should be able to choose plant-based menu items without compromising the flavors they crave," Liz Matthews, Taco Bell's global chief food innovation officer, said in statement.
The Mexican-inspired chain has been testing an array of plant-based protein including its own made from soy and pea protein at participating locations in Alabama.
In August, Insider's Mary Meisenzahl visited Taco Bell's test kitchen to sample its newest in-house meatless protein — including the forthcoming Crispy Melt Taco that will be available for $2.49.
"I was really impressed with the plant-based dishes, which Taco Bell says is the latest innovation following tests of the Cravetarian pea and chickpea protein last year," Meisenzahl wrote.
Although the partnership with Beyond Meat has been in the works for years, this announcement comes amid a tumultuous time for the plant-based meat company.
On Tuesday, Beyond Meat announced the suspension of its chief operating officer, Doug Ramsey, after police say he was arrested for biting a man's nose in a road rage incident, Insider reported.