Pizza Hut is adding to the growing list of restaurants that are experimenting with or adopting plant-based meat.
In one Phoenix restaurant location, for one day only, on October 23, 2019, Pizza Hut introduced a Morning Star Farm’s plant-based sausage pizza, and packaged it in a “planet friendly” round pizza box made by Zume, Inc.
If the one-day test goes well, Pizza Hut will evaluate rolling out one or both innovations to more locations.
Video Spotlight: Pizza Hut testing plant-based sausage topping in Phoenix
This post is based on the Nation’s Restaurant News article, Pizza Hut Testing Plant-Based Sausage Served in Zume Round Box, by Nancy Luna and Gloria Dawson, October 22, 2019; the Fast Company article, Two Years in The Making, Pizza Hut Tests a Round Pizza Box, by Jeff Beer, October 22, 2019; and the YouTube video, Pizza Hut testing plant-based sausage topping in Phoenix, by 12 News, October 22, 2019. Image source: D. Hurst / Alamy
1. Why introduce a plant-based sausage?
Guidance: The tremendous success of other plant-based meats by several fast-food restaurants is driving more restaurants to consider adding it to their menus. Several have seen increased sales from the addition of plant-based meat. In the long run, it may not increase overall sales for the industry, but Pizza Hut doesn’t want to be left behind and miss its share of the market.
2. Why have a limited introduction?
Guidance: The limited introduction will allow Pizza Hut to confirm if its customers are interested in plant-based meat for pizzas. A limited release also allows the chain to try plant-based meat in the field and see how it works with current processes and equipment.
3. Why use a round pizza box?
Guidance: The pizza box has not evolved in years. An improved box could help pizza restaurants in several ways. Pizza Hut claims that this new design will keep the pizza crispier, the box will use less material with the corners eliminated, and from a service process perspective, it removes the step of folding the box, which could save money in the service process.
Zume, the company making the round box, is known for its pizza delivery robot. The box is designed for robotic delivery and is supposed to stay closed.