Taco Bell has committed to making its offerings more health conscious within the next seven years. And one way it’s working on doing that is by offering products with more meat in them. Except they don’t call it meat. They call it “protein.”
The emphasis on nutrition, rather than meatiness, is one consumers are likely to notice. Data from Infegy—a company that analyzes user-generated content on blogs, social-media accounts, and other online sources—shows that 43 percent of conversations about “meat” over the last six months were negative and often included such words as “bad,” “concerns,” and “problem.”
On the other hand, only 6 percent of conversations about “protein” were negative. Most people associated it with words like “good”, “healthy,” and “delicious.”
Taco Bell customers in Dayton, Ohio, will have the opportunity to try out a new “Power Protein” menu, in which burritos and bowls come with twice as much meat but clock in at under 450 calories. The company is counting on customers who are put off by “meat” to choose this meat-heavy option because “protein” sounds so wholesome. But if the word “meat” makes things sound unhealthy, what about the words “Taco Bell”?