Pizza Hut U.S. trialed a vegan meat topping for one day only in Phoenix, Arizona.
Pizza Hut announced on Tuesday that it would trial “Incogmeato,” a vegan Italian sausage developed by Kellogg-owned MorningStar Farms. The plant-based topping was served on a Garden Specialty Pizza topped with banana peppers, mushrooms, and onions, The Verge reports.
The vegetarian pizza will came in a round box created by sustainable food tech startup Zume. The unique box is compostable and keeps pizza crisper, hotter, and fresher, according to the brand. It is made from agricultural waste and “other responsibly sourced biomass.” It is more affordable than plastic and has a lower carbon footprint than paper and plastic alternatives.
Incogmeato shares a name with MorningStar Farm’s upcoming range announced last month. Made from soy protein, it features burgers, chicken tenders, and nuggets.
MorningStar Farms is the top-selling meat-free brand in the U.S., earning approximately $450 million a year. It announced earlier this year that it would eliminate egg whites from its recipes. The brand aims to be completely vegan by 2021.
Mel Cash, head of Kellogg’s plant-based protein division, told Forbes that its realistic new range seeks to satisfy consumer demand: “It’s less about having a competitive advantage and more about being able to satisfy as many people as possible who want to eat plant-based.”
The full Incogmeato range launches in early 2020.
Vegan at Pizza Hut
Last month, Pizza Hut CEO Artie Starrs said in an interview with CNN Business that the company was closely monitoring food trends, adding that a plant-based meat topping was a possibility.
Although the Incogmeato pizza features vegan sausage, there will be no dairy-free cheese option. In the U.K., Pizza Hut offers vegan cheese from Greek brand Violife. It offers five vegan pizzas, plus appetizers, Quorn chicken nuggets, and dessert.
Pizza Hut U.S. has a few vegan options, according to international animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). The Thin ‘N Crispy and Hand-Tossed crusts and the Premium Crushed Tomato Pizza sauce are vegan. The cinnamon sticks are also vegan, except for the icing, which contains milk.
Pizza Hut trialed Garden Specialty Pizza, which retails for $10, on Wednesday at 3602 E. Thomas Road in Phoenix. Local sustainability nonprofit Arizona Forward received all of the proceeds.