As the recent trend among food companies to strip themselves of additives and excess ingredients under consumer pressure, Taco Bell has become the latest company to pledge a commitment to offering more options with simpler ingredients and fewer additives.
“People haven’t slowed down, and more than ever want quality and convenience,” said Brian Niccol, Taco Bell CEO. “They are seeking more information and a variety of options they can customize to meet their lifestyle, without giving up the flavors they love or the innovative food they expect at Taco Bell. They’re also telling us less is (more) when it comes to ingredients, so we’re simplifying with natural alternatives and staying true to who we are and what makes us unique.”
By the end of 2015, the company says it plans to remove all artificial flavors and colors, and replace them with natural alternatives. Other additives such as trans fat will also be removed in addition to replacing palm oil with sustainable, RSPO-certified palm. By the end of 2017, Taco Bell will look to remove additional artificial preservatives and additives where possible.
These simplifications will impact more than 95 percent of Taco Bell core food items.
“We’re part of an exciting time – a food revolution,” said Liz Matthews, chief food innovation officer at Taco Bell. “Today’s customers are more curious and interested about food than ever. They want to understand what they’re eating and expect to know more about it. Their exploration in food is a journey, and one that we have also been on for the past 10 years. We are excited to bring new tools and the right information that is relevant to our fans today. We’re making it easy for them to understand what’s in our food and providing options for all of today’s lifestyles and price points. We’re not stopping here, and we are thrilled to bring our fans along.”
The company says it will also look toward adapting its menu to meet the changing lifestyles of its consumers. This includes providing options for consumers backing food trends such as meatless, gluten free and high-protein diets.