Pizza Hut has expanded its partnership with Beyond Meat by adding four new meat-free pizzas to its permanent menu in the UK. The new vegetarian pizzas enjoyed huge success in their trial run last year, however, they are not currently suitable for vegans.
The UK announcement is part of a global strategic partnership between Pizza Hut and Beyond Meat and builds upon previous launches, such as in the US, when Pizza Hut became the first national pizza company to launch a plant-based meat pizza across the country.
This year, Beyond Meat signed a partnership with Yum! Brands, which includes the Pizza Hut restaurant chain, as well as KFC and Taco Bell to make Beyond Meat the preferred supplier for Yum! Brands as well as developing plant-based menus for its restaurants.
A step forward or unattentive to the market?
Although the inclusion of dairy cheese on the pizzas may bemuse and discourage vegan consumers, the pizza chain is aiming to attract a younger consumer base, including Gen-Z and millennial consumers. Similar launches of vegan alt-meats paired with non-vegan dairy products have been seen recently in Little Caesars and its Field Roast collab, as well as Johnny Rockets and its Impossible Burger – which vegan customers would have to order: “bun-less or with lettuce”.
While the crossover flexitarian market is growing exponentially and the aim of these mainstream products is to introduce meat-eaters to meat alternatives, it may seem injudicious that so many large companies are following this path of “deveganizing” vegan products. With so many successful plant-based dairy products on the market, it does beg the question of why brands would continue to disregard the growing number of potential vegan customers.
The new vegetarian pizzas available for delivery and collection include: Beyond Italian Style Sausage Supreme, Beyond Three-Meat Three Cheese, Beyond Beef Sizzler and Beyond Italian Style Sausage Tear & Share Topper.
“Last year we were the first pizza chain to bring Beyond Meat toppings to the UK, and we’re delighted to introduce them across the country this year. We are proud to always bring delicious new innovations right to our customers, and by partnering with Beyond Meat we are offering more flexitarian and meat-free options without sacrificing any flavour. With this delicious new range on our permanent menu from today, we are responding directly to feedback from customers – the UK loves Beyond Meat pizzas!” commented Amelia Riba, Chief Brand Officer at Pizza Hut.
Deanna Jurgens, Chief Growth Officer at Beyond Meat added: “We’re thrilled to partner with Pizza Hut to increase accessibility to plant-based meat options and bring delicious Beyond Meat toppings to consumers across the UK. We know meat-eaters and vegetarians alike are increasingly looking for more plant-based options, and we want to enable them to continue to Eat What They Love™, like delicious pizzas, without compromising on taste, a balanced lifestyle or the environment.”