Taco Bell customers are protesting. Here's why

In September of this year, a petition to "Save the Mexican Pizza" went up on Change.org. Its point? Taco Bell intends to remove the Mexican Pizza from its menu. More importantly, the petition asks people who feel similarly strongly about the menu item to sign in support of saving the dish. At the time of writing, the petition has managed to claim over 65,000 signatures of its 75,000 goal. Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza holds a special place in the hearts of many members of the South Asian community in the US, and the petition cites a few articles — such as this one in The Takeout and another by NextShark – that explain why the fake Mexican chain would find such a home in the South Asian American community, and the Indian American community in particular. The outlets both state that Taco Bell is one of the only fast food chains to offer consistent vegetarian-friendly options, which are exemplified by the Mexican Pizza; an important factor for communities with large populations that follow vegetarian or Halal diets.

Input also reports that Taco Bell's subreddit has switched to private in protest, meaning that visitors to the forum are met with "This sub will remain locked until Taco Bell reverses their decision to remove Mexican Pizzas from the menu." Why this move would cause Taco Bell to reverse their decision was not expounded upon. (It should also be noted that there is a second Taco Bell subreddit, r/LivingMas, which is currently not private). As of right now, Taco Bell is still set to remove the Mexican Pizza from their official menu.

Taco Bell talks back

One may wonder why Taco Bell would do such a thing and aggravate thousands and thousands of fans. In the company's announcement on September 3rd, Taco Bell explained that they were streamlining their menu for the sake of efficiency and other miscellaneous jargon-bloated corporate principles — looking at you "creativity and innovation." On November 5th, Taco Bell will release four new menu items and axe three, including the contentious Mexican Pizza.

"We know some fans may be sad to see this one go," the company explained, "we are too. One silver lining of saying goodbye to the Mexican Pizza that might help you rest easy is that removing it from our menus helps us work towards our commitment to leave a lighter footprint on our planet. Currently, Mexican Pizza packaging accounts for over 7 million pounds of paperboard material per year in the U.S." Realizing the controversy over removing this item, Taco Bell added two more bullet points to the announcement, saying that there will still be vegetarian options and that this move will make space for a new $6.99 combo. Despite the fact that Taco Bell could presumably devise a way to offer the Mexican Pizza without all the packaging (that is probably only there because a higher up deemed it essential during a focus group), the argument still found a sympathizer with Uproxx. Still, it seems a needlessly antagonistic way to deal with over 65,000 fans and alienate entire communities.