Taco Bell's ingredients have always been pretty vegetarian-friendly, but at a time where it seems that everyone in fast food is trying to incorporate plant-based meats, Taco Bell has, for the most part, stayed away from that conversation.
In fact, the taco chain even doubled down earlier this year, as it launched an official vegetarian menu, which basically consisted of already existing ingredients, sans meat.
We pressed them in the past, asking if they were ever going to join the plant-based meat trend, and they always respectfully brushed off the idea.
Well, they've been full of it, and apparently already had a meat substitute overseas.
It's called the "Oatrageous Taco," and can be found at Taco Bell locations in Finland and Spain.
The proprietary blend consists of pulled oats, legumes and Taco Bell seasonings, and can be used as a meat substitute in any of its menu items.
While many fast food chains have opted for Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods, Taco Bell has opted for the lesser-known European-based alternative.
Taco Bell director of product development, Steven Gomez, said that the oat-based tacos are now a permanent item in Finnish and Spanish Taco Bell restaurants, and they have plans to expand the meat across Europe by summer 2020.
When asked if this plant-based alternative could potentially work in an American market, Gomez said, "Never say 'never,'" which is exciting to hear for those in the U.S. who have been hoping for a new plant-based alternative to meat.
While the international market is still young for Taco Bell, it's good to note that it has impacted the U.S. menu before with the Nacho Fries. The fries that launched in 2017 were initially launched overseas, and was a staple in other countries around the world before they were even thought about a release in the U.S.
With the plant-based movement growing at a rapid pace in the U.S., it's hard to think that Taco Bell wouldn't want to bring something different to the table.
The Oatrageous meat substitute is already taking off in Europe, and we shouldn't be surprised if that's the direction they take in the U.S. soon.