Taco Bell: What’s In the Beef?

You have to give Taco Bell some credit. The restaurant chain did not become unbunned…er, undone by charges that it’s beef isn’t all up to par. Instead, Taco Bell was proactive in responding with a detailed statement on exactly what its beef contains:

  • 88% USDA-inspected quality beef.
  • 3-5% water for moisture.
  • 3-5% spices (including salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, sugar, garlic powder, cocoa powder and a proprietary blend of Mexican spices and natural flavors).
  • 3-5% oats, starch, sugar, yeast, citric acid, and other ingredients that contribute to the quality of our product.

However, I think the communications team made a mistake with this: exactly what are these “other ingredients” (last bullet) they mention? Seems to me that being “almost” transparent just as bad a not being transparent at all. It just begs more questions. What do you think?

–Scott Van Camp

  • http://twitter.com/DanBischoff Dan Bischoff

    I agree in that I don’t like the “other ingredients.” I think they also said there were “secret ingredients” that give the meat its flavor. Don’t like that at all.

    I also don’t like how they came out swinging saying those who made the claims were liars and they were going to take legal action. Hard to believe someone would just make up a huge claim that their beef was only 36%.

    I think their response should have been directly to their consumers. Not at those who attacked them.

  • Heather Nasif

    I’m letting the “other ingredient” thing slide. There is such a thing as trade secrets and it’s unreasonable to demand that companies give them away. The flavor of Taco Bell’s meat is a very valuable USP for the company and it has the right to keep it from public knowledge.

    I agree that going on the offensive in regards to the lawsuit may have been a bit much, but the claims are pretty substantial and Taco Bell will be fighting this stigma for awhile.