Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
Qdoba recently announced some interesting news: they are expanding their menu to include plant-based protein that simulates beef. What does this mean for soy in this type of fast casual restaurant?
Qdoba is using Impossible plant protein, which is a soy-based protein mixture that has been designed to simulate ground beef. This follows a recent trend: over the last few years, several companies have started to offer these beef-like products as an alternative option to traditional meat. We love the option these products provide for people to avoid red meat, but this flexibility doesn’t come without consequences as some of these products contain soy. (some are soy-free! check out NuGrub) Interestingly, Qdoba pointed out that their new choice contains soy in their announcement, which is a nice and often missed touch for new products as allergen menus can be slow to be updated.
While we don’t see soy-free options going away with the introduction of plant-based protein, its growing popularity does offer a chance for missteps. However, we view the likelihood of this to be small and overall we are excited for the increasing thoughtfulness of food ingredients across fast casual restaurants.