Years in the Making, Taco Bell’s First Vegan Crunchwrap Hits Menus in These Cities


Taco Bell’s most popular menu item got a remake with the Vegan Crunchwrap, complete with dairy-free nacho sauce. These three lucky cities will try it first.

We’ve all seen the bright lights of Taco Bell at 2 a.m., inviting us to drive thru their late-night tasting meals. And The Bell has always made sure to take care of its vegetarian guests, with a range of customizable meat-free items that can be ordered with beans in the beef and an array of vegan toppings for a quick vegan shortcut.

But this week, residents of three major cities will get something dreamier on the menu at local Taco Bell. Starting June 8, the chain is testing its first all-vegan main course: vegan crunchwrap.

This new item contains all of the original ingredients, but without any animal products, including vegan beef, dairy-free sour cream “blanco sauce,” warm nacho salsa, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, and a crispy tostada wrapped in a toasted bun. Large flour tortilla.

For this limited launch, Taco Bell chose to test the Vegan Crunchrup in cities with large vegan populations: Los Angeles, New York City, and Orlando. “Taco Bell test decisions are based on a variety of factors, including brand insights, market research, and collaborations between local restaurants,” Missy Shavoc, Taco Bell’s director of global nutrition and sustainability, tells VegNews. “Because of the importance of Vegan Crunchwrap innovation, we leveraged our data to target US cities with prominent vegan populations, to gain insights from this important fan base.”

Vegetable crunch can be ordered at the following locations:

  • Los Angeles – 6741 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028.
  • New York City – 976 6th Ave., New York, NY 10018.
  • Orlando — 11893 East Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL 32826.

Make a Taco Bell vegan crunchrup
In 2005, product developer Lois Carson first created Crunchwrap Supreme for Taco Bell. After selling 51 million of them in its first month and a half, Taco Bell added the Crunchwrap Supreme to its permanent slate in 2006, and it has since become a bestseller.

Taco Bell takes its vegan options very seriously, with 23 percent of its sales coming from meat-free items in 2022. As such, for Vegan Crunchwrap, Taco Bell’s Test Kitchen worked for years tasting and testing to make sure the Vegan version was approved by American Vegetarian association, can stand up to the origin.

“We never want our vegan and vegetarian fans to feel like they have to make compromises at Taco Bell. The goal during product development was to create a vegan alternative that was just as heartable as the original, while also being suitable as a ready-to-order menu item without the need for modifications,” says Shavoc. . “The Vegan Crisp has taken years to make, and we are confident our fans will love the final product.”

In test markets, while prices may vary, the vegan Crunchwrap will be offered at the same price as its animal-based counterpart to ensure that customers wanting to try the new ingredient don’t have to overcome a cost barrier.

“By offering the Vegan Crunchwrap at price parity to the traditional Crunchwrap Supreme, we can continue to make vegan options more accessible for our fans,” says Shavoc.

“We never want vegans to feel like they have to pay more or compromise for equally craveable options.”

Taco Bell’s venture into making dairy-free cheese
Taco Bell’s new vegan Crunchrup is filled with boldly seasoned vegan beef—made from a blend of soy and pea protein—that the chain has been working on for several years. Taco Bell first unveiled vegan beef at one location in Tustin, California in April 2021. There, Taco Bell introduced vegan beef as part of its Cravetarian Taco (a meatless version of Crunchy Taco Supreme).

That fall, Taco Bell expanded its first vegan beef testing to 95 Detroit-area locations before moving it to 50 more Birmingham-area locations last year.

This vegan beef has appeared as part of Nachos BellGrande and the new Crispy Melt Taco, two vegan options that contain dairy.

At the same time, this past October, Taco Bell revealed the fruits of its work with vegan brand Beyond Meat. For a limited time at 50 locations in Dayton, Ohio, the chain has offered Beyond Carne Asada Steak as part of a quesadilla but it can also be ordered on any menu item in place of animal-derived meats at no additional cost.

While previous tests of new menu innovations have included dairy cheeses and sauces, the Vegan Crunchrup, packed with sticky nacho and blanco sauces (made primarily from soybeans and chickpeas), marks the first time Taco Bell has introduced vegan dairy. “We tested a number of plant-based proteins, but our vegan blanco sauces and vegan nacho sauce were integral to making our all-in-one vegan Crunchwrap,” says Shavoc. “Each ingredient was intentionally designed to complement each other and combine to create the signature flavors of Crunchyrup.”

“We wanted to create a main that was completely vegan, straight from the menu, without the need for modifications,” added Shavoc.

Because the vegan crunchwrap was made to be “perfect” and eaten as is, the new beef, nacho sauce, and blanco sauce cannot be used to modify other items at this time. Taco Bell will determine the national viability of its vegan Crunchwrap product during limited-time testing in these three vegan-friendly cities.

“Taco Bell’s tests are an effective way for the company to check how consumers will respond to a product before a broader rollout. We run tests to determine things like pricing and construction, to investigate scaling, to understand operational impact, and to make assessments of future offerings and rollouts,” Shavoc says. While we don’t share details of the test results, we’re excited about what Crunchwrap’s vegan testing will mean for future vegan and vegetarian menu developments.”

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