On May 19, 2022, the Mexican Pizza is finally returning to Taco Bell. But it’s not coming back for a limited time, it’s coming back for good. This is after months and months of speculation surrounding its potential return after its removal from Taco Bell’s menu at the end of 2020. Celebrities like Doja Cat and Dolly Parton all publicly pined for the round double decker concoction filled with refried beans and seasoned meat, topped with Mexican Pizza sauce, melted cheese, sour cream, and tomatoes.
So many people were enamored with the Mexican Pizza, including South Asian-Americans who were delighted at the fact that they could eat it by removing the seasoned beef, since vegetarian fast food options are limited. But once it was taken off the menu, fans were crushed. Hell, I was disappointed that it was gone too.
A press release from Taco Bell, sent to The Takeout, stated that customer petitions around the popular not-actually-pizza item were a partial motivator to getting it back on the menu. This change.org petition, which aimed for 200,000 signatures (as of now it’s received just over 171,000) was cited as part of the driving factor.
The petition is spearheaded by Krish Jagirdar who said, “Like many Indian-Americans who grew up vegetarian, we had limited access to the ‘fun’ fast food, so Taco Bell became a bridge to belonging in American culture for many kids like me who grew up in immigrant households.”
It made me wonder why this particular petition, out of dozens, was the one to catch Taco Bell’s eye, but after corresponding with a Taco Bell PR representative, I was told, “Taco Bell receives many requests for products that are now off menu, but Mexican Pizza’s removal led to more requests over a much longer period of time than they’ve ever seen before.” I guess the fans really were riled up, huh?
Part of Taco Bell’s initial concern with the Mexican Pizza was not only over streamlining the menu during the pandemic, but it was also because the company had worries about ingredient sourcing, as well as its total environmental footprint. The Mexican Pizza boxes were admittedly a pretty big piece of packaging.
In Taco Bell’s press release confirming the goodbye to the fan favorite in 2020, the company said that Mexican Pizza boxes alone counted for seven million pounds of paperboard material in the United States, per year, alone. The fast food chain is also working on a sauce packet recycling program, and it aims to have all of its packaging recyclable or compostable by 2025.
I asked the representative whether or not any other item is being sacrificed to make way for the Mexican Pizza, and they said no. The rest of the menu will be untouched, so you don’t need to be afraid of one of your potential favorites being wrenched out of your sauce-covered hands. Man, if the Crunchwrap was taken away from us I think I’d crumple up in some dirt.
If you want to get your hands on a Mexican Pizza before it’s released to the masses, you need to be part of Taco Bell’s loyalty program, where you can get it starting May 17 (a few days earlier than its May 19 wide release). So if you’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time, be ready to blast the Phil Collins drum solo when you get your hands on one, because it’s definitely coming back, and this time, for good.