Wondering why you haven't been chugging down your extra-large Taco Bell soda as quickly as you once did? It could be because the fast food chain's secretly been leaving the salt out of its recipes.
As reported by Nation's Restaurant News yesterday, Taco Bell tested out its new lower-sodium menu items at 150 restaurants around the DFW area over the past few months. But in a stratagem borrowed from sneaky moms and school cafeteria cooks who've learned to disguise vegetables, the chain neglected to tell its customers they were eating healthier food.
"The great news is: No one even knows we've done it," Yum! Brands president and chief concept officer Greg Creed told Nation's Restaurant News. "That's when you know you've been successful."
According to Creed, Taco Bell slashed its menu-wide sodium count by 23 percent. When the recipe changes are instituted nationwide, the sodium reduction will amount to about 1 million pounds a year.
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"The food team did a great job of replacing the sodium taste with the taste of other spices and other ingredients," Creed said.
Taco Bell probably didn't have to do too much scrounging to find sodium to shed: The chain serves dozens of items with four-digit milligrams of sodium, including a 2,180-mg Grilled Stuft chicken burrito. The recommended daily maximum sodium intake for healthy adults is 2, 300 mg.
Creed said the secret low-sodium menu didn't generate any complaints.