Mexican-inspired fast food chain Del Taco is bringing vegan Beyond Meat to its restaurants. The plant-based beef will be available in coming weeks at all of Del Taco’s 564 locations, Daily News reports.
The vegan beef crumbles are made from pea protein to look, cook, and taste like animal-based meat. In a dish called Beyond Tacos, Del Taco tested the food option at five locations in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties as well as a “big chunk” of San Diego County, Daily News says.
Following the trial period, Del Taco’s president and chief executive officer John D. Cappasola announced the vegan option will be available “toward the back end of April.”
“The consumer opportunity is immense and exciting,” he said. “There is no one else doing it in our category at the price point we plan to offer.”
The Beyond Tacos were being sold for $2.49 at test stores, a dollar more than tacos made with animal-based meat. Beyond Meat announced recently its intentions to make its protein cheaper than animal products.
The collaboration between the two SoCal-based brands marks the first time that Beyond Meat’s meatless crumbles have been offered at a U.S. drive-through restaurant. Del Taco is also the first Mexican fast food restaurant to serve Beyond Meat.
Del Taco will offer two options for its Beyond Meat dishes. The vegan Beyond Avocado Taco features Beyond Meat crumbles layered with crisp lettuce, diced tomatoes, and hand-sliced avocado in a crispy corn shell or soft tortilla. The vegetarian Beyond Taco serves the meatless crumbles with dairy cheese instead of avocado.
Customers have the option of swapping out animal-based meat in favor of the Beyond Meat crumbles in any of the restaurant’s existing dishes including burritos, fries, and nachos.
“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,” said Ethan Brown, CEO and founder of Beyond Meat.
He continued, “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 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.”
While this marks the first instance that Beyond Meat has been sold at an Mexican-American fast food establishment, it is also available at New York City-based Mexican fast casual chain Oaxaca Taqueria, which introduced the plant-based protein in a bid to be more sustainable.