Pizza Hut is Testing Beyond Meat Vegan Pepperoni at 70 US Locations
National pizza chain Pizza Hut is determined to inspire its customers to give plant-based protein a chance. The fast-food establishment just announced that it will roll out its new vegan pepperoni to nearly 70 locations across five US cities. The launch will be a limited-time offer to test the new Beyond Pepperoni Pizza. Pizza Hut’s culinary branch teamed up with vegan brand Beyond Meat to develop the soy-free, meatless pepperoni pizza. The vegan pepperoni is made from rice and peas, enhanced by a blend of spices to replicate the taste of traditional pepperoni.
“Pizza Hut’s new Beyond Pepperoni Pizza delivers the same iconic taste as our original pepperoni that fans know and love,” Chief Brand Officer, Pizza Hut Georgeanne Erickson said. “With this new plant-based option, we’re giving customers more choices and more reasons to love Pizza Hut.”
Pizza Hut and Beyond Meat claim that the new pepperoni product crisps in the same way that traditional animal-based pepperoni does. The mirrored taste and texture will be added to an order dairy cheese pizza, however, it is possible to ask for Pizza Hut pizzas to come without the cheese. Currently, Pizza Hut has made no mention of introducing dairy-free cheese to its menu.
Pizza Hut will debut its Beyond Pepperoni Pizza in select cities spanning the United States. The limited-time offer can be found at each location in Albany, NY; Columbus and Macon, GA; Jacksonville Florida; and Houston, TX.
“We know there is strong consumer demand for pepperoni, and we’re thrilled to unveil a game-changing plant-based pepperoni topping as the next chapter in our innovation-focused partnership with Pizza Hut,” Dariush Ajami, Chief Innovation Officer at Beyond Meat, said. “We’re confident fans will love Beyond Pepperoni as it delivers the crisped edges and savory flavor profile of Pizza Hut’s classic pepperoni with the added benefits of plant-based meat.”
Earlier this year, Beyond Meat announced that it had partnered with Yum! Brands – the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. Since then, the companies have worked together to develop several plant-based proteins and alternatives to conventional animal-based products. Last year, Pizza Hut released two plant-based meat pizzas with The Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza and The Great Beyond Pizza. Both options were dairy-based cheese pizzas topped with the plant-based versions of the Italian sausage crumbles and Italian sausage.
Pizza Hut’s plant-based expansion has predominantly taken place overseas. The pizza restaurant chain has developed and distributed its plant-based proteins across locations in Canada, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Puerto Rico.
Beyond Meat’s other partners under the Yum! Brands coalition have also teased plant-based options in recent years. In 2019, KFC debuted its first plant-based chicken with Beyond Fried Chicken. The one-day test launched in Atlanta, GA before expanding across select locations in 2020. Taco Bell also launched trial runs of the Cravetarian Taco and The Naked Chalupa with a Crispy Plant-Based Shell this year. The trial launches, however, have yet to lead into a national menu addition.
Beyond Meat is reaching across all fast-food categories, recently teaming up with Panda Express to release the Beyond The Original Orange Chicken. The plant-based take on the Panda Express signature item is currently only available at select New York City and Los Angeles locations for a limited time.