US chain MOD Pizza is now offering meat-free Italian sausage at all its locations. The new menu option was developed in collaboration with plant-based food and beverage brand Plantly.
Made with non-GMO pea protein, the sausage contains 12g of protein per serving and is free of gluten, soy, and artificial ingredients. It can be added as a topping to any pizza or salad on the menu.
The chain has also launched a limited-edition pizza topped with the sausage. Called the Willow, it comes in both vegetarian and vegan versions.
The vegan Willow features Italian sausage on an extra virgin olive oil base with chopped garlic, dairy-free cheese, roasted red peppers, and sliced mushrooms. It is finished with arugula and Romesco sauce.
Rising demand for vegan pizza
Demand for vegan pizza has surged in North America since the beginning of the pandemic, and chains are responding by launching new menu options such as plant-based chicken and vegan mozzarella. However, some chains have confused vegans by combining meat alternatives with dairy cheese. Many feel that there still aren’t enough truly plant-based options, so it’s encouraging that MOD Pizza is catering to those who avoid animal products altogether.
“We’ve spent the past two years methodically testing plant-based proteins, and simply put, we found Plantly’s Italian plant-based sausage to be completely craveable and far superior in both taste and quality — and were immediately drawn to the real ingredient list,” said Mark Shambura, Chief Marketing Officer at MOD Pizza. “We’re excited to bring our customers a product that is not only delicious, but an easy swap or add, if they want to go meatless or simply have more flexible choices.”