Pizza Hut is looking into adding vegan meat toppings to the menu.
Pizza Hut CEO Artie Starrs revealed in an interview with CNN Business that the brand is closely monitoring food trends. He added that plant-based pizza toppings are a possibility.
Starrs explained that any new food items would have to be “authentic” to the brand — and any “quirkier” menu changes are likely to be trialed outside of the U.S.
Vegan Options at U.S. Pizza Chains
Stateside, Pizza Hut does have vegan options. You can order the thin or hand-tossed crust with marinara and pile on the vegetable toppings. The cinnamon sticks are vegan without the icing. Rumor had it that Pizza Hut U.S. would launch dairy-free cheese by the end of the summer, but the claim was false.
Domino’s offers similar options in the U.S. — thin crust, tomato sauce, and vegetables — plus pineapple, for pineapple-on-pizza lovers.
Little Caesar’s trialed a plant-based sausage topping made by Impossible Foods last May. LeBron James-based chain Blaze Pizza launched vegan chorizo at 300 locations earlier this year. The quick-serve chain also offers Daiya vegan cheese — a fact that Blaze Pizza believes will attract customers from its competitors.
Adding vegan meat to the menu may help boost Pizza Hut sales. A recent study by market insight firm Numerator found that 80 percent of Americans want to swap meat for plant-based options for health reasons. Three out of four people who have tried vegan meat believe it is healthier than the real thing.
Pizza Hut Goes Vegan Outside the U.S.
Pizza Hut offers several vegan options outside of the U.S. In the U.K., the chain has offered vegan cheese made by Greece-based brand, Violife for nearly two years. It added a vegan jackfruit-topped pizza to the menu at the beginning of the year after selling over 10,000 pies. The following month, Pizza Hut U.K. launched four new vegan pizza options, plus a jackfruit roll appetizer and cinnamon sticks with icing for dessert.
Starrs did not reveal what type of vegan meat pizza topping the chain is considering.