While no one was looking, Taco Bell has been scheming.
Unless you’re a hardcore follower of the chain, you may not have noticed the change, so we’re going to fill you in: Taco Bell has started to become one of the country’s healthiest fast food chains. It seems a little weird that a restaurant that offers a Doritos shell taco would warrant that title, but it’s the gospel truth.
In the past year or so, Taco Bell has been restructuring menu choices from top to bottom, especially on the company website and mobile platform. The goal? To give consumers a choice. They can pig out on Crunch Wrap Supremes if they want, or they can go for a healthier option that’s still quick service and delicious. Very few fast food chains today can claim a similar accomplishment.
VISIT OXFORD MISSISSIPPI
Much of the credit can be given to Taco Bell’s dietician and product developer, Missy Nelson. Take a minute to wrap your head around the fact that Taco Bell has a dietician. Since Nelson joined the Taco Bell team, she has made huge strides towards taking out all artificial ingredients, switching to cage-free eggs, and offering lighter (but still delicious) options. On top of all that, there has been a 15% reduction in sodium across all menu items, which is subtly a brilliant move.
Taco Bell now offers so much more than the traditional menu we’re used to. There is now a low-calorie “Fresco” menu, a high-protein “Cantina” menu, and a vegetarian menu certified by the American Vegetarian Association. The vegetarian menu even comes with vegan-friendly selections, all of which can be found on the Taco Bell app.
With a touch of a button, your order can be customized to fit your dietary needs, which leaves endless options for customization. And by adding these extra, health-conscious menus, Taco Bell gets to keep the traditional fast food menu, while allowing for another avenue to drive new business.
However, what we really appreciate is that Taco Bell isn’t making a huge deal out of their new health offerings – which could be why you haven’t heard of them. “Us [Taco Bell] touting ourselves as a health halo – it’s not authentic and it’s not real,” Taco Bell spokesman Alec Boyle says.
Instead, Taco Bell has kept the usual advertisements and low-key released information on the new menus, so anyone who wants to make the healthy choice can do so. This gains consumer trust more than any of the nutritional tools now at the customer’s disposal.
Eyes are now on the rest of the fast food world to see if they're taking serious notes.