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Posts Tagged ‘lorena garcia’

CEO Promises a ‘Better Taco Bell’ With Healthier Menu Items

Last year, in an effort to compete with more upscale fast food chains like Chipotle (and to improve its own image), Taco Bell launched its Cantina menu, created by top chef Lorena Garcia. Now, the taco joint is hoping to take a bigger bite out of the health-conscious set by overhauling some of its menu items to meet higher nutritional standards.

CEO Greg Creed told reporters on Wednesday that his company plans to offer more nutritionally sound products and commit to more transparency. As part of the revamp, the chain plans to have twenty percent of its combo meals amount to no more than one-third of the U.S.’ daily recommended calorie guidelines.

In other words, assuming that most people eat three meals a day (what, no fourthmeal?!), Taco Bell’s meal deals would each contain no more than one-third of that total calorie count (based on a 2,000 calorie diet, that’s roughly 666 calories). “We have to offer more balanced options,” he said. Dietary guidelines for fat, sodium and other ingredients will be taken into consideration as well.

Doesn’t this move go against everything Taco Bell stands for? Not necessarily.

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Taco Bell Takes on Chipotle with ‘Cantina’ Rebranding

Let’s be frank—the Taco Bell chain has never been known for the quality of its food. It’s a reliable source for beer-fueled midnight snack runs that your stomach will regret in the morning, but Chipotle has been the recognized leader in “quality” Mexican-style fare for some time. Its “food with integrity” tagline couldn’t be clearer.

Of course, the folks behind the Chihuahua would love to change that equation—and it seems like they’ve had some success with the “Cantina Bell” rebranding project and its celebrity chef spokesperson, Lorena Garcia. The goal of this exercise was clearly to compete with Chipotle Mexican Grill, which is something of a “cult favorite” despite being a big-money national chain once owned by McDonald’s.

Well, it worked–According to the YouGov Brand Index, Taco Bell’s quality perception among consumers rose throughout the summer after it debuted the Cantina brand—and its scores are now closer to those of its nemesis. The success of the Cantina project even inspired venture capitalist David Einhorn to warn investors about buying shares of Chipotle—and the company’s stock value quickly dropped in response.

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