Beyond burgers? Del Taco to roll out plant-based tacos with Beyond Meat across all 580 locations

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: Beyond Meat
Picture: Beyond Meat

Related tags Beyond meat plant-based meat

In another move signaling the mainstream potential of next generation plant-based meat brands, fast-food taco chain Del Taco will roll out tacos featuring Beyond Meat's pea-protein-based crumbles to all 580 locations starting April 25, following a successful pilot in southern California.

The partnership will launch with two new menu offerings for $2.49:

  • Beyond Avocado Taco (vegan):​ Del Taco seasoned Beyond Meat plant-based crumbles, avocado, lettuce and diced tomatoes in a taco shell.
  • Beyond Taco (vegetarian):​ Del Taco seasoned Beyond Meat plant-based crumbles, cheddar cheese, lettuce and diced tomatoes in a taco shell.

Beyond Meat​ is also being offered as a substitute for any protein in existing Del Taco menu items, such as burritos, nachos and fries, said the El Segundo-based company: "Del Taco worked hand in hand with Beyond Meat’s culinary team to craft a recipe with signature seasoning and spices to deliver a flavor that’s unlike any other brand’s iteration of plant-based meat."

Del Taco CEO John Cappasola said: “After receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from fans during our tests in various parts of the country and across social media, we knew it was time to bring our craveable Beyond Tacos to guests nationwide.”

Asked whether the tacos feature the frozen beefy crumbles available in stores, or Beyond Meat's new Beyond Beef fresh ground beef recipe, a spokesperson said: 

"Beyond Meat worked with the Del Taco team to create a unique proprietary blend that coupled Beyond Meat's innovative plant-based meat with Del Taco's iconic seasoning and flavors. This particular product is only available at Del Taco and is different from the frozen Beyond Beef Crumbles sold in stores."

The roll out was announced shortly after organic meal delivery service Trifecta​ ​started to offer fully cooked Beyond burgers and other Beyond Meat products on its menus.

Foodservice sales now outstrip retail sales at Beyond Meat

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA at the Natural Products Expo West Show last month - where the company unveiled its new Beyond Beef ground beef product - Beyond Meat executive chairman Seth Goldman said the company's foodservice sales were outpacing retail sales.

The frozen Beyond Chicken retail product is being dropped, but the beefy crumbles are still doing well, he said. "However, the bulk of our growth is coming from the fresh platform​ [The Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage items, which are sold in retailers' chilled meat cases, or via foodservice chains such as Carl's Jr, TGI Fridays, and A&W]."

Plant-based meat 2.0

Beyond Meat - which has upgraded its recipes this year, adding mung bean and rice protein to its top-selling Beyond Burgers - uses pea protein isolate as its core ingredient, and has gone through the Non-GMO Project Verified process​​​ for its US products, which are soy-free. 

The latest version​​​ of rival the Impossible Burger - which is now available in chains including Burger King and Red Robin - is made primarily from soy protein concentrate. Its star ingredient, heme, an iron-containing molecule it claims “makes meat taste like meat,'​​ is made using a genetically engineered yeast, the DNA of which has been retooled to produce leghemoglobin (a protein found in nodules attached to the roots of nitrogen-fixing plants such as soy).

beyond meat del taco
beyond meat taco

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