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When you’re looking for a quick meal while on the go, sometimes a fast food chain is the best option available. And if you’ve ever found yourself pulling out your phone to furiously Google what vegan options might be available at your drive-through of choice, you’re not alone.
Researchers from Meal Delivery Experts decided to look at what specific national chains customers were mentioning when searching for vegan offerings. In their analysis, Taco Bell was the clear winner – charting nearly twice as many average monthly searchers for vegan menu information compared to the second-placer, McDonald’s.
Taco Bell has done more to cater to vegetarian and vegan clientele than many of its competitors, even offering a guide for vegan options on the company’s website. Ordering kiosks at some Taco Bell locations offer a “Veggie Mode” button, switching to show only vegetarian items and provide information about vegan modifications.
“We’ve been doing vegetarian for a long time, but that is not enough for us. People should be given more options than one plant-based choice,” Missy Schaaphok, RDN, Taco Bell’s Global Nutrition and Sustainability Manager, noted in a statement when the “Veggie Mode” kiosks launched in 2020. “At Taco Bell, celebrating vegetarian is more than just a trend, it is something we do every day of the week.”
Panera was in the third place for searches for the restaurant’s name and vegan terms, followed by Starbucks (though we can imagine Starbucks rising in the ranks in coming weeks as customers search for vegan PSL options).
“As part of the American population has started to adjust its diet to newfound needs and wants, restaurants need to keep up in order to satisfy the demand for plant-based and vegan-friendly options,” a spokesperson for Meal Delivery Experts said about the research. “Fast food chains are no different, as tasty vegan meals shouldn’t be only limited to fancy and expensive restaurants, but should be available for everybody, at reasonable prices without giving up on the flavor.”