Food & Beverage

September, 25, 2003 - 01:13 PM / ET

Taco Bell 'Fresco Style' Cuts the Fat, Not the Flavor; Company Announces New Option for Health-Conscious Consumers

IRVINE, Calif.--(HISPANIC PR WIRE - BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 25, 2003--Consumers who regularly sacrifice taste to benefit their waistline will now be given new options on their favorite Taco Bell(R) menu items to help cut fat and calories, but not the flavor.

The Company that prides itself on bold choices is launching its "Fresco Style" alternative, which includes daily-prepared fresh Fiesta Salsa as a savory substitute for cheese and sauce. Available as a free option to nearly all Taco Bell menu items, Fresco Style is now offered at participating Taco Bell restaurants nationwide.

Only five calories per serving and zero fat grams, Fiesta Salsa packs in the flavor with a zesty yet mild mix of freshly chopped tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Ordered Fresco Style, a traditional grilled steak soft taco with 290 calories and 17 grams of fat, contains 170 calories and five fat grams, an approximate 70 percent fat reduction. Now, with this Fresco Style option, Taco Bell offers 15 menu items with less than ten grams of fat.

Registered dietitian Jackie Newgent, a nutritional consultant for Taco Bell, believes that small diet changes, such as this new option, can benefit health without cutting taste. "Minor lifestyle adjustments like Fresco Style can have dramatic weight-loss and health effects over the long-term," said Newgent. "Simply cutting your calorie and fat intake, combined with an active lifestyle, can increase energy and self esteem, and decrease the chance of obesity and certain diseases."

According to a recent Taco Bell survey, nearly three-quarters of Americans believe eating healthy is important. However, taste and convenience ranked twice as significant as a nutritious meal. Now, with this new program, Taco Bell can address all of these consumer needs. "There has been a recent trend of healthier products and diet menus being introduced at quick service restaurants," said Greg Creed, chief marketing officer, Taco Bell Corp. "However, unlike our competitors, the Taco Bell Fresco Style alternative is available to enjoy on nearly all of our menu items and is here to stay."

As part of the Fresco Style program, Taco Bell is providing consumers with information to support healthier lifestyles. "Keep It Balanced" posters will be placed in Taco Bell restaurants nationwide to encourage consumers to eat in moderation and balance their diet with appropriate exercise, as well as to provide helpful tips on exercise techniques. Additionally, free nutritional brochures including Fresco Style information are available at Taco Bell restaurants and drive-thrus. Consumers also can access nutritional information and test the new interactive substitution calculator at http://www.tacobell.com.

Taco Bell has become the official quick service restaurant of America on the Move, a national program recently launched to motivate millions to be more active and eat less. Its goal is to inspire people to walk an additional 2,000 steps a day (approximately one mile) and cut 100 calories out of their daily diet. As part of this program Taco Bell is challenging participants and all Americans to order their favorite Taco Bell menu items Fresco Style to reduce caloric, fat and cholesterol intake. To be a part of the America on the Move Program, visit http://www.americaonthemove.org.

Taco Bell Corp., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE:YUM), is the nation's leading Mexican-style quick service restaurant chain serving tacos, burritos, signature Quesadillas, Border Bowls(R), nachos and other specialty items. Taco Bell serves more than 35 million consumers each week in more than 6,000 restaurants in the U.S. In 2002, Taco Bell generated $5.2 billion in system-wide sales. Think Outside the Bun and visit http://www.tacobell.com.

--30--BRM/se*

CONTACT:
Cohn & Wolfe
Erin Myers Portman, 310-967-2902
or
Ashley Kim, 310-967-2966
or
Taco Bell Corp.
Laurie Schalow or Sally George, 949-863-3915








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