The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News

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
  • 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

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • 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

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo