Pizza Hut has become the latest fast food outlet to cash in on the growing tide of meat-free offerings in the market, saying it will launch a meat-free sausage pizza.
The new pizza will be topped with Beyond Meat’s (BYND) plant-based sausage, and will be available for a limited time in the United States and Britain.
It is thought to be the first widely distributed takeaway pizza which has a topping of replacement meat. Pizza Hut is the largest US pizza company by unit count, with more than 7,000 locations across the country.
The chain said it would offer the faux sausage as a one-topping option on the Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza and as a special recipe in another pizza, The Great Beyond Pizza.
This will kick in from today in the US Pizza Hut Express stores while stocks last.
David Graves, Pizza Hut’s chief brand officer, said: “We continue to see strong demand for plant-based meat on pizza. The partnership with Beyond Meat allows us to meet that need by giving customers the choice of a plant-based sausage without sacrificing on flavor.”
He noted that the culinary teams have been working in lockstep to create a sausage which tastes like and has the texture of a traditional Italian sausage.
“I think we’ve done just that,” he said.
The release comes as competition in the meat-free market is hotting up, a day after fast food giant McDonald’s (MCD) announced it would introduce a “McPlant” menu.
According to Ian Borden, the president of the company's international business, the new burger will be “crafted exclusively for McDonald's, by McDonald's,” and could also be used in chicken substitutes and other menu items in the future.
Concerns over meat's effects on health, the environment and animal welfare have driven the chain, famous for its carnivorous offerings, to consider other options.
McDonald’s said in a blog post: “Markets can adopt the McPlant when they’re ready and we expect some to test the burger next year.”
Watch: Beyond Meat posts surprising loss as sales slump