Why Did Taco Bell Discontinue The Bell Beefer

Volcano Taco and Lava Sauce

Although it was the first, it wasn’t the last red taco shell. The red shell held Lava Sauce, which has a pretty self-explanatory name and was introduced in 2008. Taco Bell’s Volcano Taco was advertised as their spiciest taco ever, and reportedly it delivered! To the delight of the fans, it returned in 2009 before being permanently removed from the menu in 2013. We hear that the Mexican pizza is (finally) back, even though this crowd favorite isn’t coming back.

Why Did Taco Bell Discontinue The Bell Beefer

The call for the return of the sloppy joe-style burger, essentially consisting of the ingredients of a beef taco inside a burger bun, has inspired a Facebook group, a podcast episode, a change.org petition, and even sit-ins at Taco Bells in San Francisco protesting their discontinuation, otherwise known as Stank Festivals.

No matter how much you adore a Quarter Pounder with its juicy meat patty and soft, buttery bun, there are just certain days when you want to hear that crunch of cracking taco shells between your jaws and feel the heat of salsa spreading in your mouth instead. That’s why you head for the border when you need a break from burgers and fries. But did you know that, for a few years during the restaurant’s 58-year history, Taco Bell actually served a burger? The Bell Beefer, which was introduced to the menu in the 1970s, was essentially a Sloppy Joe in consistency.

When the Bell Beefer was last available at Taco Bell, the Thighmaster was a well-liked workout tool and Ronald Reagan was the president. However, that doesn’t mean that people can’t still remember the 1980s as if they were yesterday and taste that slightly sweet, mildly spicy taco burger. In fact, there is a whole Facebook page called Taco Bell Please Bring back the Bell Beefer that is followed by almost 5,000 people. Members of this group occasionally vent about new Taco Bell menu items that aren’t actually the Bell Beefer and share fake Bell Beefer recipes. “Come on Taco Bell. Bring back a true winner, please, and stop with the awful waffle breakfast (who came up with that mess?) and quesaritos. THE BELL BEEFER!!” the page wrote in reaction to TB’s morning offerings’ 2014 update.

Initially introduced as a “chili burger” (via Spoon University) before getting its alliterative menu name, the Bell Beefer was essentially a hamburger bun containing taco meat, lettuce, diced onions, and Taco Bell mild sauce. You could upgrade your Bell Beefer by going “Supreme,” which added diced tomatoes and three-cheese blend to the mix (per Mental Floss). The Daily Meal says a phaseout began in the 1980s when the company shifted entirely to selling Tex-Mex items while according to Mental Floss, it was discontinued in the mid-90s. The Bell Beefer was removed from the menu because people werent buying it. “Its the circle of life. The popular items stay around and the underperforming items get retired,” former Taco Bell employee Shaun Quinn told Chowhound. The Bell Beefer in particular, he added, “just seems wrong” for a Tex-Mex style fast-food joint.

Mainly, though, members of this community mourn the passing of one of their favorite fast food indulgences of all time. “I remember the first time I went to a Taco Bell in Jupiter Beach FL in 1972 eating that and I loved it ever since. Tried to duplicate in in my kitchen ever since it vanished. To no avail. Bring it back PLEASE!!!!!” another fan posted. Other Bell Beefer fans have cut off all ties with TB, feeling bitter that they can no longer find their favorite sandwich. “Best thing Taco Bell ever made. Never ate there again once they took this away,” noted one diner.