Weatherford Democrat

Community News Network

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
Community News Network
  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results