Pizza Hut will go above and beyond its main rivals Domino’s and Papa John’s with a pair of new pizzas featuring plant-based proteins from Beyond Meat.
Of the Big 3 pizza chains, Pizza Hut is the first to top pizzas with meat substitutes in a national rollout. Specifically, the chain has introduced the Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza and the Great Beyond Pizza, both topped with plant-based Italian sausage.
The Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza offers Beyond Meat’s plant-based Italian sausage crumbles on a cheese pizza, while the Great Beyond Pizza features the crumbles along with chopped tomatoes, red onions and banana peppers.
Pizza Hut isn’t the pizza chain leader in plant-based proteins. Little Caesars started offering a plant-based sausage from Impossible Foods in several markets in May 2019. Fast-casual pizza chain Pieology Pizza rolled out its own pizzas topped with plant-based meats last year. More recently, California Pizza Kitchen last month rolled out the Don’t Call Me Chicken pizza topped with a plant-based chicken substitute called Chicketts from Worthington Foods.
The plant-based Italian sausage was developed exclusively for Pizza Hut by plant-based leader Beyond Meat. The product is designed to offer the same taste and texture as animal-based meat while being better for people and the planet.
Beyond Meat’s plant-based sausage crumbles mimic the real meat’s taste with a blend of garlic, paprika and fennel seeds. “I’d challenge anyone to go try [it] and tell the difference,” David Graves, Pizza Hut’s chief brand officer, told Nation’s Restaurant News. “I shared it with friends and family, and they couldn’t.”
Graves also told CNN that Pizza Hut “eventually” plans to offer a plant-based pepperoni topping.