I don't know about you, but I definitely don't think of the words "fresh" and "all natural" when I'm about to chow down on a chalupa at Taco Bell. All of that might start to change with this news.
Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are getting rid of artificial colors and flavors, The Associated Press reports. But if Taco Bell and Pizza Hut don't use artificial ingredients, what will they be serving, you ask?
Well for one thing, the "black pepper flavor" Taco Bell uses in its seasoned beef will be replaced with actual black pepper, Taco Bell's Chief Food Innovation Officer Liz Matthews told The Associated Press. The nacho cheese will also no longer have the artificial dye Yellow No. 6, the avocado ranch dressing will not have Blue No.1 and the red tortilla chips will be rid of the bright pigment carmine.
Some of the recipes with these new ingredients are being tested in select markets now and are scheduled to be in stores across the country by the end of the year. Pizza Hut said artificial colors and preservatives will be removed by the end of July, according to The Associated Press.
Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are just the latest food companies to announce the removal of artificial ingredients from their food. McDonald's, Pepsi and Kraft have all announced that they will be removing artificial ingredients from their products amid the public's growing preference for fresher, healthier foods. Fast-food chains in particular are trying to compete with the likes of Chipotle, which has found success in emphasizing its use of natural, locally sourced ingredients.
A representative for Taco Bell assured The Associated Press in an email that "It will be the same great tasting Taco Bell that people love," but will it be? In recent years, Taco Bell in particular has capitalized on the hybrid foods craze, introducing such new foods as Biscuit Tacos, Doritos Locos Tacos and Quesaritos.
I'm not saying Taco Bell's food won't taste as good without artificial ingredients. In fact, it will probably taste better. But will it taste like the ooey, gooey, delightfully unhealthy monstrosities that we all know and love and visit the fast-food chain for now? That is the question.