Taco Bell announced Tuesday it has become the first national fast food chain to drop its kid's meals, saying it will discontinue the toy and food combos at some locations this month and across the brand by next year.
"Kid's meals and toys simply no longer make sense for us to put resources behind," said Greg Creed, chief executive officer of Taco Bell, in a statement early Tuesday. He added that the move will have an "insignificant impact on sales."
Grabbing some Taco Bell is an easy task for most Americans but for the residents of Bethel, Alaska it is a four hour journey to the nearest town. Needless to say, most people in Bethel were super-excited when signs popped up announcing that a Taco Bell was coming to their town this July.
Alas, it was all a hoax and Bethel’s taco dreams came to an abrupt halt. But there is more to the story.
A lawsuit alleging that Taco Bell's beef has insufficient cow-based content has been dropped, but as it turns out - many readers figured it was nacho problem anyhow. From our lunchtime poll on the topic:
Will this lawsuit stop you from going to Taco Bell?
Heck no! It still tastes awesome. 44.37%
In other news, Taco Bell's "Volcano Burrito" has been found to be 100 percent lava and ash free. Whatta world, I tell ya. What a world.
Taco Bell is steaming mad over a lawsuit alleging that its beef isn't beef, and replied with promises of a counter-suit in an ad slamming the claim as "absolutely false."
In a full-page ad appearing in prominent newspapers on Friday, Taco Bell proclaimed, "Thank you for suing us."
"Our reputation's been falsely tarnished," said Greg Creed, Taco Bell's president. He told CNNMoney that he's meeting with outside counsel to possibly take legal action on these "egregious" accusations against his beef.
Read Taco Bell: 'Thanks for suing us' on CNN Money
The Volcano Burrito isn't the only thing getting Taco Bell executives hot under the collar these days. As we mentioned earlier today, a class action lawsuit claims that customers are misled by the chain's practice of representing to consumers that its restaurants serve "seasoned ground beef" or "seasoned beef" filling in its products, when the percentage is actually around 35 percent.
The company's President and Chief Concept Officer Greg Creed is 100 percent cheesed off, posting on Taco Bell's website that:
Said ingredients include water, isolated oat product, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats (wheat), soy lecithin, sugar, spices, maltodextrin, soybean oil (anti-dusting agent), garlic powder, autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, caramel color, cocoa powder (processed with alkali), silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent), natural flavors, yeast, modified corn starch, natural smoke flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, less than 2% of beef broth, potassium phosphate and potassium lactate. Is your mouth watering yet?
It's not as if the chain's use of the terms "beefy" and "taco meat" are anything unusual in the food world. "Chocolatey," "cheesy," "cheese food" and other non-regulated descriptors are used to skirt legal technicalities all the time in the wild, woolly world of food marketing. When it comes to this particular legal beef, though, are you cowed?
Where's the beef? According to a class action lawsuit filed by the Beasley Allen law firm out of Montgomery, Alabama, it's certainly not in Taco Bell's "taco meat filling."
The "seasoned ground beef" contains less than 35 percent beef - the other 65 percent of the meat-like mixture is: water, isolated oat product, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats (wheat), soy lecithin, sugar, spices, maltodextrin, soybean oil (anti-dusting agent), garlic powder, autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, caramel color, cocoa powder (processed with alkali), silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent), natural flavors, yeast, modified corn starch, natural smoke flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, less than 2% of beef broth, potassium phosphate and potassium lactate.
Whew, did you get all that? Oh, there's also caramel color and natural smoke flavor added.