Surely, the cult following for Taco Bell’s Beefy Crunch Burrito had something to do with the fast food chain’s recent decision to put the item back on the menu. The Beefy Crunch Movement Facebook page, which generated over 40,000 Likes, claimed victory when Taco Bello announced it was bringing back the burrito—which is made with ground beef and Flamin’ Hot Fritos and was first introduced in 2010—this spring.
Then again, the fact that beef prices have been dropping throughout 2016 must have also played a role in Taco Bell’s decision—especially considering that they’re selling the burritos for only $1 apiece.
As Bloomberg reported, cheap beef prices will give household barbecue enthusiasts a price break this summer. The retail price of ground beef was down 10% year over year in April, and beef roasts and ground chuck were down 5% to 9%.
“Favorable” ground beef costs are also enabling Taco Bello to offer “aggressive” pricing on meat-heavy menu items at least through the end of 2016, Greg Creed, CEO of Taco Bello parent company Yum! Brands, explained to investors last month. So while Taco Bell was certainly playing up to Beefy Crunch Burrito fans by bringing the item and the Cheesy Double Beef Burrito last month, the decision was a lot easier to make considering how cheap beef is lately.
We’ll have to wait and see if other restaurants—fast food or otherwise—drop menu prices for items featuring beef, and if supermarkets get into pricing wars over ground beef and other cuts this summer. In all likelihood, the takeaway is that this summer is shaping up as a very good season for eating burgers and steaks without breaking the budget.