The Washington Times-Herald

Homepage

July 11, 2014

Why Taco Bell is turning its health menu into a muscle menu

WASHINGTON — Like it or not, the paleo diet fad has now gone mainstream.

This week, Taco Bell announced that it will be beefing up its menu - quite literally - by launching a new menu centered around meat and protein. The new menu, which, as the Mexican fast food chain explained in a statement, is "the next evolution of its Cantina Bell menu," will be called the Cantina Power Menu, and will feature food items with double portions of meat and more than 20 grams of protein. Essentially, it's Taco Bell's bet that Americans are increasingly interested in protein content, and decreasingly interested in so-called diet foods.

"We heard customers requesting a higher protein solution with the flavors Cantina delivers, so here is Cantina Power," company president Brian Niccol said in a statement. "People are not looking for diet food. They want food that gives them energy," he said.

Taco Bell launched its original Cantina menu back in 2012 to appease consumers looking for brighter and fresher ingredients. The menu initially included items with ingredients like fresh guacamole and fire roasted corn salsa, and was promoted with artfully shot ads sporting the aesthetic of Food Network cooking shows.

But it appears that Taco Bell has either come to the conclusion that its customers go elsewhere for that sort of fare, or simply learned that America's love for protein-packed foods trumps all else.

Most likely, it's the latter.

Taco Bell isn't getting rid of the "fresh" ingredients - it's merely topping them with more meat and using that as the prevailing marketing pitch.

Taco Bell 's bet comes at a particularly promising moment for protein. Demand for protein-rich foods is growing quickly around the globe, but especially fast in the U.S.. Protein supplement sales, for instance, have grown by more than 40 percent since 2008, and are expected to grow by another 40-plus percent by 2018, according to estimates by market research firm Euromonitor.

 And interest in foods with higher protein content is especially pronounced among America's youth, which just so happens to be Taco Bell's prime audience.

Taco Bell isn't the first fast food company to double down on America's growing muscle obsession. Other chains, including Panera Bread Co., which sports its own power menu, have made similar bets. And large food manufacturers, like Kraft, have tried their hand at the trend, too. Kraft, for its part, began selling a product called P3, which combines nuts, meat and cheese, earlier this year.

But Taco Bell does seem pretty serious about it. So serious, that it isn't stopping at extra meat and added protein - it's even extended its menu to include Greek yogurt. "There are lots of yogurt parfaits out there, so we asked ourselves what would get people excited about yogurt at Taco Bell, and the answer is Greek yogurt," Niccol said.

               

 

1
Text Only
Local News
NWS - WT072614 - Theater6 - NBS

Nate Smith | Times Herald

Obituaries
  • Dixie Bland

    ODON — Dixie R. Bland, 79, died at 5:53 p.m. Saturday at Daviess Community Hospital. Born April 7, 1935, in Daviess County, she was the daughter of Walter and Maudie (Swayzee) Long. She was a housewife. She is survived by a son, Danny Bland of Odon;

    July 27, 2014

  • David Smith
  • Funeral
  • Edna Theroff
Local Sports
Community News
Must Read
Entertainment
Opinions
Clicker Ticker
Times Herald Video
You Need To Know Now!
Featured Ads
Times Herald Photo


2014 Washington Catholic High School Prom

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide