Greek yogurt to debut at Taco Bell

by Monica Watrous    View Me on Google+
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Taco Bell's new Power Breakfast Menu includes Greek yogurt topped with granola.

IRVINE, CALIF. — Taco Bell is beefing up its breakfast menu with several high-protein items, including Greek yogurt.

The Mexican fast-food chain is testing the Power Breakfast Menu, featuring a steak and egg bowl, a steak and egg burrito, and an item called Power Greek Yogurt, which includes Three Happy Cows brand vanilla bean Greek yogurt topped with granola. The product, which will be tested in Omaha restaurants beginning in August, contains 17 grams of protein and 240 calories.

The Power Breakfast platform joins the Waffle Taco, A.M. Crunchwrap and Cinnabon Delights on Taco Bell’s morning menu, which rolled out in March. The new items were developed for customers seeking convenient, high-protein breakfast options, the company said.

“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,” said Brian Niccol, president, Taco Bell.

The chain also announced the national launch of its Cantina Power Menu, which includes bowls and burritos that contain more than 20 grams of protein and 500 calories or fewer. Items on the menu feature such ingredients as double portions of grilled all-white meat chicken or steak, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheddar cheese, reduced-fat sour cream, black beans and Latin rice.

The chain developed its Cantina Power items for customers seeking lower-calorie, higher-protein options.

Taco Bell first announced the test of high-protein, lower-calorie options last June as part of its commitment to meet specific nutrition goals by 2020, when the chain said it aims to have 20% of its combo meals meet one-third of the federal government’s dietary guidelines for daily intake values of fat, calories and sodium. That translates to approximately 667 calories, 26 grams of fat, and 767 mg of sodium per meal, based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Despite the push for better-for-you products, parent company Yum! Brands recently said its healthier alternatives don’t perform as well as more indulgent items.

“We are certainly aware of heightened awareness among consumers around obesity and good integrity,” said Pat Grismer, chief financial officer of the Louisville, Ky.-based company, during an April 29 presentation at the Barclays Retail and Consumer Discretionary Conference in New York. “So for us, what that means is that we need to continue to maintain our high standards around the quality of our food and increasingly provide more balanced offerings to customers to give them a choice. Interestingly, what we have found is that as we have introduced more healthful alternatives on our menu, they don’t necessarily mix high.”
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READER COMMENTS (1)

By Steve Graves 7/11/2014 11:27:30 AM
That Power Chicken Bowl has 1450mg of sodium!