This week, international chain Pizza Hut added Beyond Italian Sausage Crumbles at select locations in Canada—its first vegan meat option in the country. The new vegan meat was exclusively created for Pizza Hut Canada in partnership with Beyond Meat and is featured on three new menu items: The Great Beyond (a specialty pizza topped with Beyond Italian Sausage Crumble, vegetable toppings that include sliced red onions and banana peppers, and served on any Pizza Hut crust); Beyond Italian Sausage Alfredo Loaded Flatbread (a crispy flatbread topped Beyond Italian Sausage Crumble, roasted red peppers, dairy-based alfredo sauce, and dairy-based mozzarella cheese); and Beyond Creamy Alfredo (a dairy-based pasta alfredo dish layered with Beyond Italian Sausage Crumble, onions, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese).
“As Canadians continue to seek convenient ways to incorporate more plant-based protein in their lives, we are excited to partner with Beyond Meat, a leader in plant-based protein, to bring consumers expanded choice across our menus,” Devon Lawrence, Marketing Manager at Pizza Hut Canada, said. “The new Beyond Meat menu items taste incredible and deliver on the iconic Pizza Hut flavor that our fans know and love.”
The new Beyond Meat options are available at Pizza Hut locations in the west end of the Greater Toronto Area (Mississauga, Etobicoke, Milton, and Oakville) and in Edmonton. To promote the new options, Pizza Hut is offering a promotion until June 6 where customers can purchase one pizza and get another (such as The Great Beyond) free by entering code 879 at online checkout.
The Beyond Italian Sausage Crumbles are also available as a topping for any build-your-own pizza. The Original Pan Crust, Thin ‘N Crispy, and Hand-Tossed crusts are plant-based and Pizza Hut’s marinara sauce does not contain animal products. “We’re thrilled to bring Canadians increased access to delicious and satisfying plant-based protein as the latest extension of our global partnership with Pizza Hut,” Hameed Jagani, Vice President of Global Strategic Partnerships at Beyond Meat, said. “The addition of Beyond Italian Sausage to Pizza Hut’s local menus enables consumers to continue eating the things they love, like pizza, without having to compromise on taste, health, or sustainability.”
Vegan at Pizza Hut
While this partnership represents the first time that vegan meat has been available at Pizza Hut locations in Canada, it’s not the first time the international pizza chain has offered vegan options. In the United Kingdom, Pizza Hut began flirting with vegan options in 2017 with the launch of Violife vegan cheese. UK branches of the chain now serve a dedicated vegan menu that includes meatless pepperoni pizzas, Quorn chicken nuggets, and dairy-free caramel cheesecake.
In 2019, Pizza Hut Australia launched a fully vegan menu that included pizzas topped with vegan cheese made by local brand Dairy Free Down Under in four options: Vegan Mediterranean, Vegan Deluxe, Vegan Cheese Lovers, and Vegan Margherita. Australian Pizza Hut locations also serve vegan chicken wings (which can be ordered with five vegan dipping sauces); vegan cheesy garlic bread; and a vegan ice cream cone for dessert.
Stateside, Pizza Hut first tested vegan sausage made by MorningStar Farms’ Incogmeato line at one location in Phoenix, AZ in 2019. The limited-time test featured the plant-based sausage atop the Garden Specialty Pizza, which also included onions, mushrooms, and banana peppers and could be ordered vegan by omitting cheese. While this test did not ultimately result in a nationwide expansion of the Incogmeato vegan sausage, Pizza Hut did become the first chain in its category in the US to launch vegan meat nationwide last year.
In November 2020, Pizza Hut partnered with Beyond Meat to launch two Beyond Pan Pizzas at all traditional locations and participating Pizza Hut Express locations nationwide. The culinary teams at Pizza Hut and vegan brand Beyond Meat collaborated on the options which feature the vegan meat brand’s Italian sausage. The Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza is a classic (dairy) cheese pizza topped with Beyond Meat Italian sausage crumbles, while the speciality The Great Beyond Pizza (which is similar to the pizza now offered in Canada) features dairy cheese, fresh veggie toppings that include tomatoes, sliced red onions, and tangy banana peppers, the plant-based Italian sausage, and is served on Pizza Hut’s classic Original Pan crust.
While vegan cheese is available at many Pizza Hut locations internationally, the chain has yet to add a dairy-free cheese option to its US or Canadian locations.