In a press release, the fast-food chain announced that former potato items Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes and the Spicy Potato Soft Taco would be back on their menus beginning March 11.
Rumors of potatoes getting axed started to swirl last summer after a Reddit user, identified as a verified employee, said potatoes were leaving the menu.
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The decision to remove the potatoes in particular upset vegetarians.
The potatoes were booted from Taco Bell's menu in August.
"The vegetarians of the world thank you - we missed your taters", one person tweeted. Taco Bell is said to have more than 30 vegetarian ingredients on its US menu in total, and the expansion of its vegetarian menu will ensure that the chain continues to be a favorite fast-food destination for those who don't eat meat.
"We have always been a leader in the vegetarian space", Matthews said.
Taco Bell says the items were temporarily removed to simplify the efforts of employees who had to deal with increased drive-thru traffic amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Ditching potatoes "was painful", she said, noting that it was the right thing to do at the time. After all, vegetarians already have few fast-food options available to them. For some of them, Taco Bell has been a reliable go-to. In 2019, the chain debuted a vegetarian section on its menu board to help guide customers to its veggie items. Americans haven't lost their craving for meat by any stretch, but an increasing number of people identify as flexitarians, with some estimates saying that plant-and-meat eaters could make up 70% of the population. Taco Bell has been discussing the potato comeback over the past three months or so, Matthews said.