Taco Bell "Fresco" Bowl: 13g Of Fat or 8g? 350 Calories or 430?

Reader Todd finds Taco Bell’s new “Fresco Style” menu confusing. On the menu the “Fresco” Zesty Chicken Border Bowl is listed at 8g of fat and 350 calories. If you enter the menu item into the nutrition information calculator on Taco Bell’s website, the same item is 13g of fat and 430 calories. What gives? Why is this so confusing, Taco Bell?

I ordered the Zesty Chicken Border Bowl Fresco style without dressing. On the menu at the store, it reads under 9 grams of fat but on online, it reads 13 grams of fat. Please compare your special nutrition page for Fresco menu items to the Nutrition Calculator on the Taco Bell site. I made sure that I chose “Fresco Style” on the calculator and to be advertising something as under 9 grams of fat, but really having 13 is very misleading and wrong.


Really, what’s 4 grams of fat? But my point is that if you go the extra mile to order something that has under 9 grams of fat, then it should really come out that way.

I’ve attached a screen capture of the Taco Bell webpage where I compared the two items. Clearly have different amounts of fat.

UPDATE: Rob, the Director of Public Relations for Taco Bell, writes in to let us know that the nutritional information on the “Fresco Menu” is correct.

The nutritional information calculator on Taco Bell’s website “inadvertently includes red strips” when it calculates the info for the Fresco Zesty Chicken Border Bowl. The actual bowl contains 8g of fat and 350 calories, as advertised. Rob says: “Appreciate you bringing this to our attention as we are currently working to fix it.”


Edit Your Comment

  1. Falconfire says:

    The website is wrong, its using a calculation and isnt actually what you get as “fresco” when you actually order it.

    I brought this up with them a few months back and they told me as such, seems they didnt care enough to fix it though.

  2. MercuryPDX says:

    Much as the TV cameras add weight, perhaps the internet adds calories?

  3. Squot says:

    @Falconfire: So which one is right? The 9 or the 13? (Just so I know, for Weight Watchers. -_-;)

  4. Propaniac says:

    Cue 50 comments along the lines of “Who cares, there is absolutely no reason why anyone should need accurate nutrition info about a fast food item because you should already know that eating fast food will make you fat and that’s all there is to it!!!” Plus some bitching about people who drink diet Coke, probably.

  5. Falconfire says:

    The one on the menu is right (IE the one from the pamphlet you can get at the stores)

    Part of the issue as I was told is that when something is made Fresco, it removes certain things like cheese and special sauces you can not remove on the website calculator.

    It would make sense that when you chose normal vs fresco it removes this stuff, but apparently it only removes parts of it, and not everything its supposed to.

    BTW Fresco is SO much better tastewise. Im not particularly a fan of Taco Hell to begin with, because everything tastes like your eating a fat mexican. But fresco style things actually taste close enough to real mexican as to be passable.

  6. nutrigm says:

    Well same thing with Dunkin Donuts. You see on their website they warns some of their donuts (Glazed, chocolate frosted etc) are not suitable with people who are allergic to egg yet the detail of ingredients says nothing about any kind egg being used. Weird!

  7. chaintothread says:

    If you reach a point in your adult life where you have enough free time on your hands that you find yourself investigating the inner workings of taco bell’s nutritional menu – then clearly, there is no hope for the future of america.

    in b4 bitching about diet coke, etc, etc.

  8. kimsama says:

    @nutrigm: That may be because there are egg proteins in the donuts/glaze, or some other sort of deconstructed egg frankenfood.

    P.S. Yay for accurate nutrition information, and boo for bad information. This is part of the reason (besides frugality) I like to make my meals from scratch.

  9. Falconfire says:

    @nutrigm: whats weirder is the ones with egg dont list the warning (like the cake donuts which all use egg in them)

  10. Andy S. says:

    @Falconfire: “everything tastes like your eating a fat mexican

    That is an insult to fat Mexicans everywhere (but primarily in Mexico).

    (Also, your -> you’re)

  11. Rando says:


    Fresco style isn’t new and has been around for YEARS.

    Basically all cheese and sauce is removed and instead it gets fiesta salsa.

  12. no.no.notorious says:

    i like that fast food is moving in the right direction sort of. yeah, you can argue ‘make your own food’ blah blah blah but when you’re vacationing and want a quick snack, it’s nice to just pop into a familiar franchise to get something thats not going to ruin your day at the beach…and you can satisfy that taco craving :)

  13. The_Truth says:

    I Love you Taco Bell!

  14. ekthesy says:

    I can’t bring myself to eat any food product described solely by colour and shape, i.e. “red strips.”

  15. Dervish says:

    @kimsama: Usually the source of egg in products like this (that come from dry mixes) are either dried egg powder or liquid eggs added at the bowl. These are pretty common in the baking industry for various reasons and are hardly “frankenfoods.”

    More likely, I’d suspect, is that the plant that produces these mixes doesn’t run them on an allergen-managed line, so they could conceivably have traces of egg in them.

  16. johnperkins21 says:

    @no.no.notorious: it’s nice to just pop into a familiar franchise to get something thats not going to ruin your day at the beach

    How does having the case of the “runs” not ruin your day at the beach?

  17. DrGirlfriend says:

    Some people’s GI tracts are hardier than others’.

  18. Shadowman615 says:

    @Propaniac: Who cares? Fast food will make you fat no matter what the nutrition info says. And people who drink Diet Coke are big dodoheads.

  19. malarkey21 says:

    I’ll wager dollars to donuts that the response from taco bell will have something to do with breaded chicken vs grilled chicken.

  20. IndyJaws says:

    @chaintothread: Actually, I’m one of those people. Been on Weight Watchers for 5 months, lost 45 lbs (thank you very much). I’ve stayed away from fast food almost completely, but every once in a while, I’ll treat myself to a fresco taco or two. They’re low points and I still continue to lose weight. Maybe if more Americans would pay attention to nutritional information, we wouldn’t be so damn fat.

  21. ripple says:

    Yeah and we would all be eating food that doesnt taste good. Anything that tasted good is bad for you

  22. legerdemain says:

    Gripe: Taco Bell people generally don’t know about Fresco.

  23. NeoteriX says:


    Seriously. I once asked for a Fresco taco with the Fresco advertisement pamphlet right next to me. I got a blank expression and the manager got called up. I pointed to the pamphlet on the wall and the manager mumbled something about how it was “just an advertisement ” or something. I didn’t want to create a scene, so I just dropped it.

    Either way I complained to Corporate, got a nice little coupon for free tacos with an apology from the manager… but I’ve been afraid to use it because I don’t want to “saliva special”

  24. tcolberg says:

    That’s why there are more than one Taco Bell locations.

  25. synergy says:

    I’m cynical. I’m betting it’s at least the higher amounts, but probably actually the two combined.

  26. girly says:

    You know this reminds me of those stories about restaurants refusing to post nutrition information on their food or on the menus because there are “too many combinations” and they couldn’t list them all.

    If there’s any restaurant with a plethora of combinations, it’s Taco Bell, and somehow they manage.

  27. joeblevins says:

    I had more issues with the term ‘Red Strips’. WTF is Red Strips? Normally I would say they are just colored Tortilla Chips in strips. But at 4g of Fat, seems a lot.