- Fast-food menus tend to have pretty limited options for people who follow vegan diets.
- But veganism is a rapidly growing trend — Nielsen data shows that nearly 40% of Americans are trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets.
- Though there still isn’t a ton to choose from, major chains are slowly starting to add more vegan options to their menus.
- Of every major fast-food chain, Taco Bell is likely the best for those on a vegan diet. Here’s how some of the most popular vegan items from the chain rank.
The population of vegans, vegetarians, and people who are simply trying to eat less meat is growing rapidly. Restaurant consultancy group Baum+Whiteman expects plant-based foods to be the top trend of 2018. A study by the Plant Based Foods Association from September 2016 found that the plant-based food industry — which includes meat, dairy, and egg alternatives — generates over $13 billion in sales annually throughout the US economy.
Currently, Nielsen data shows that nearly 40% of Americans are trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets. According to Baum+Whiteman, 58% of adults choose to drink non-dairy milk instead of dairy milk, yet most fast-food chains don’t carry any alternatives to dairy milk. In the past year alone, Google has seen a 90% increase in vegan-related searches.
Many major chains are slowly starting to catch on to the trend. White Castle now serves the plant-based Impossible Burger, and Costco and Ikea both recently added vegan items to their food-court menus.
But out of every fast-food chain, Taco Bell is likely the most vegan-friendly there is. On its website, it has instructions for ordering vegan at the chain along with a list of all of its American Vegetarian Association-certified vegan ingredients. As it turns out, almost anything on the Taco Bell menu can be made vegan with a few substitutions.
We tried some of the most popular vegan meals from Taco Bell. Here’s how we ranked them:
6. Bean Burrito: To make the bean burrito vegan, Taco Bell recommends on its website to order it Fresco, which replaces all dairy with pico de gallo.
The burrito was underwhelming. It had refried beans and a tiny bit of pico, and it was falling apart because of how little was in it. It was definitely not substantial enough to be a meal, and the texture wasn’t very good.
5. Crunchy Taco: I ordered the Crunchy Taco Fresco, and replaced the seasoned beef with black beans. It looked really promising.
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Source: Business insider