UK-based Italian restaurant chain PizzaExpress is renowned for its vegan-friendly options, launching plant-based cheese and its Vegan Giardiniera pizza over a year ago. Now, much to the delight of vegans up and down the UK, the chain has announced there are even more animal product-free options on the way.
In November, in celebration of World Vegan Day, PizzaExpress will roll out its new jackfruit-topped Vegan Puttanesca pizza. With traditional Italian Puttanesca sauce, the new menu option will arrive filled with olives, capers, garlic, herbs, and tomatoes. A new plant-based pasta dish will also be available; the gluten-free Peperonata pasta will be created with tomato and pepper sauce and seasoned with garlic, herbs, and fresh rocket.
For those with a sweet tooth, a new vegan dessert option will also be introduced in the form of dairy-free carrot cake.
Across the UK, more and more consumers are choosing to eschew meat and dairy-packed menu options, for health, environmental, and animal welfare-related reasons. This shift in buying habits, seen particularly in the younger generations, has led to many major restaurant chains adapting their menus — PizzaExpress is no exception, in fact, the chain is a market leader, according to senior marketing manager of the company Timothy Love.
“Considering that almost a third of all evening meals eaten in the UK are now vegetarian or vegan and over a fifth (22 percent) of the population is actively choosing gluten-free foods, it’s no surprise to see this consumer behaviour driving restaurant and delivery meal choices,” said Love.
“We’ve led the restaurant market,” he continued. “Developing a full range of vegan and vegetarian offerings with over 20 toppings to choose from, plus we were early to introduce gluten-free dishes. This innovation is set to continue, and we’re delighted to see such positive response to our menu.”
The vegan pizza market is booming, not just in the UK, but also across the globe. In Hong Kong, PizzaExpress locations have even introduced the world’s first ever vegan “Just Egg” pizza – created with mung bean-based vegan egg developed by San Francisco startup Just.