Pizza Hut’s new vegan pepperoni is now on the menu at nearly 70 of the chain’s outposts across the United States. The Texas-based company has joined forces with Beyond Meat to create a plant-based pepperoni that it has aptly dubbed, Beyond Pepperoni.
The classic pizza topping is available at Pizza Hut restaurants in five cities starting August 10 for a limited time. Those cities are Albany, New York; Columbus and Macon, Georgia; Houston, Texas; and Jacksonville, Florida.
The new meat-free version of Pizza Hut’s best selling topping is “crisped and seasoned to savory perfection.” Beyond Pepperoni also delivers “just the right amount of subtle heat and offers the same experience and taste of Pizza Hut’s classic pepperoni, now with the added benefits of plant-based protein.” The topping was co-developed by the culinary teams at both Beyond Meat and Pizza Hut. It is made from pea and rice protein.
“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,” says Dariush Ajami, chief innovation officer at Beyond Meat.
While Beyond Peperoni is currently only available in select markets, Pizza Hut hopes to bring it to additional locations in the future. In the meantime, customers in those aforementioned five cities can order the new Beyond Pepperoni Pizza with any of their favorite crusts. While it comes with cheese, it can be ordered without, and the chain has some options for vegan crusts.
Beyond Meat teamed up with Yum! Brands
Pizza Hut’s vegan pepperoni is just the beginning of a larger, ongoing partnership with Beyond Meat. The California-based company actually joined forces with Pizza Hut’s parent company, Yum! Brands, in February to “co-create craveable and innovative plant-based protein menu items.” Yum! Brands also owns McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and KFC.
“We’re excited about the long-term potential plant-based protein menu items have to attract more customers to our brands, especially younger consumers,” Chris Turner, Yum! Brands CFO, said in a statement at the time.
Thus far, Beyond Meat is McDonald’s preferred supplier of its McPlant patty. The fast-food giant began testing it in select locations in Denmark and Sweden earlier this year. Beyond Meat is also developing a new plant-based protein with Taco Bell. And, it has worked on vegan fried chicken with KFC.
Abroad, the collaboration between Beyond Meat and Yum! Brands has already yielded things like vegan sausage crumbles at Pizza Hut in Canada, three vegan meat toppings at Pizza Hut locations in the UK, and a Plant-Based Spicy Beef Wrap available at KFC China outposts.