One Planet Pizza: “New Vegans are Looking for Brands That Have a Conscience”

One Planet Pizza
© One Planet Pizza

One Planet Pizza is a family run business is the UK’s first frozen vegan pizza company which started in 2017. Their award-winning and envinronmentally friendly pizzas are available in over 400 independent health stores and vegan shops in the UK and also in selected other European countries.

OPP recently received funding from Heather Mills‘ VBites Invests and will be working with VBites using their cheese in their upcoming pizza products. Last year, the father and son team was voted as the makers of the best vegan pizza by Vegan Life. We spoke with joint director Joe Hill about their recipe for success.

Please can you introduce your brand to our readers?
We are One Planet Pizza- the UK’s first frozen Vegan Pizza company. We’re a passionate family business based in Norwich dedicated to bringing you a classic range of award-winning Pizzas. Lovingly made from scratch and by hand, we pride ourselves in using only the finest plant-based ingredients. Our delicious flavours include the Three Cheezly Margherita, Hawaiian, Funghi Feast and the Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable. Good for you, the planet and the animals.

Please describe your experience of being the first crowd-funded vegan company in Europe?
Back in 2016, 20% of our company’s equity was crowdfunded, with over 140 individuals investing between £16 and £3,000. We have investors from around Europe and even as far as Australia! As far as we know, we are the first vegan company to have crowdfunded in Europe, and possibly the world! We achieved our crowdfunding target within only 24 hours of publicly releasing the shares. This was an incredible experience for us as it gave birth to a ‘tribe’ of loyal shareholders all around the world who share our passion for the brand and help spread the word.

How many pizzas do you produce/sell daily/weekly/monthly?
We currently make 2500 pizza every week, which is roughly 130,000 pizza every year!

Which product is your bestseller in the different countries where your products are available?
Our Funghi Feast is our best seller here in the UK. In Holland, where our pizzas are sold in many Jumbo supermarket stores, the Three Cheezly Margherita is the most popular. But all four flavours are quite evenly loved!

What do you think are the reasons behind the current consumer demand?
We believe that consumers are now expecting food that is fast, delicious and healthy all in one go. This may be due to us living much faster, more active and hectic lifestyles, largely driven by technological advances and the rise of the internet and social media. There are also more vegans now than ever before and this movement is showing no signs of slowing down – luckily! These new vegans are looking for brands that have a conscience and align with their own beliefs and ethics.

You take much effort in producing an environmentally friendly product which has less than half of the carbon footprint to the average non-vegan pizza. How did you manage to achieve these high standards and which difficulties did you have to face getting there?
We actually found this very simple. By not consuming any animal products you instantly reduce your carbon footprint and the same goes for a business. Furthermore, we have always looked at how we can buy our ingredients locally to further reduce our impact on this Earth. One example was finding a local cold pressed rapeseed farmer in Norfolk. As a high quality, premium product, this was more expensive but we felt justified in valuing the planet over profits.

Which new products are currently under development and when can consumers expect to be able to try them?
We have currently just announced our very exciting new cheeze development. We have officially teamed up with Vbites to produce an incredible new cheezly that melts, tastes and stretches better than any other vegan cheese. But we’re also working on our new flavour – the Meatless Feast, which we’re hoping to start producing in the next three months. After that, we’re going to release our first ever Gluten-Free pizza. Keen an eye out on our socials!

Recently, you received funding from Heather Mills’ VBites. How will you invest this money?
We’re going to use this investment to expand our production capabilities and scale up rapidly. We hope to be able to meet demand from countries outside of the UK, including Singapore, America and more of Europe. This investment will also help us to develop more new products and also attend more larger key events.

What are your next steps in your ambition to expand into the rest of Europe?
We’re keen to focus on more countries in Europe after having experience great success across Holland. Germany is of great interest to us and we’re currently looking for interested distribution partners to help us achieve this. Alongside this, we’ll also use large food events in more European countries to help increase brand awareness and to develop key strategic relationships. Germany, we’re coming!