Pizza Hut’s pizzas are getting a full-on plant-based makeover in Canada: The international pizza chain just announced that it will be extending its relationship with Beyond Meat to add vegan sausage to its permanent menus in Canada. Following a successful trial run, the innovative new menu items are the company’s attempt to cater to the growing flexitarian consumer base within the country.

Pizza Hut and Beyond Meat’s new partnership intends to draw in plant-curious customers by presenting them with a delicious meatless alternative. Pizza Hut will offer three new permanent pizzas including The Great Beyond, Beyond Italian Sausage Alfredo Loaded Flatbread, and the Beyond Creamy Alfredo. While the featured meat alternatives are fully vegan, the cheeses and sauces still contain dairy.

“After seeing great excitement from Pizza Hut fans across Toronto and Edmonton last summer, we’re beyond thrilled to give Canadian fans everywhere the opportunity to try and fall in love with these Beyond Meat menu items,” Head of Consumer Marketing of Pizza Hut Canada Amy Rozinsky said. “Pizza Hut and Beyond Meat have a shared vision to innovate new and exciting products that will delight our guests. Beyond Italian Sausage, Crumbles offer a delicious plant-based twist on our classic pork sausage that you’ll have to taste to believe.”

The companies initially tested the new products in Toronto and Edmonton last year, and following widespread positive response, the new meatless pizza will remain as a permanent menu item. Pizza Hut’s new plant-based proteins mark the company’s first attempt to reach out to the growing flexitarian population in the country.

In 2021, 9.84 percent of Canadians identify as flexitarian compared to 7.56 percent vegetarians, according to Identity Target Markets. While the market for plant-based consumers is growing, Pizza Hut’s new meatless protein is designed to attract consumers wavering between meat-based and plant-based diets.

“In terms of wholesale adoption of a plant-based diet, vegetarianism and veganism remain on the fringe of dietary preferences, though the interest in plant-based diets has risen over the past 15 years,” the report notes. “Flexitarianism, then, offers a significant growth area for those manufacturers looking to attract a new client base, as flexitarians tend to be less dogmatic about the moral issues of eating meat.”

Beyond Meat's partnership with Pizza Hut's parent company Yum! Brands continues to provide the quick-service food sector with more plant-based options. From the McPlant to Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Beyond is working to rethink some of North America’s classic chain restaurants. The latest partnership with Pizza Hut is the first step in recreating pizza for plant-based consumers. Although the cheese and alfredo sauces contain dairy, the Beyond Sausage Crumbles will give consumers a chance to try something new at a signature fast-food restaurant.

The company also boasts that its vegan sausage contains 20 grams of protein per serving. The pea-based protein is a proper protein source for any consumer, ensuring that consumers will be getting a nutritious alternative to the company’s regular sausage toppings. The Beyond Sausage Crumbles will also be GMO, soy, and gluten-free.

“With the combined strength of our brands, we are continuing to increase the accessibility of plant-based protein for Canadians everywhere,” said Deanna Jurgens, Chief Growth Officer, Beyond Meat. “At Beyond Meat, we believe that small changes like choosing plant-based protein on your favorite pizza can make a positive impact on human health and the health of our planet.”

To promote the new meatless pizzas, the Canadian Pizza Hut branch will be hosting its popular Buy One, Get One deal from January 10 to 30. Customers will be able to purchase pizzas featuring the Beyond Sausage Crumbles for no additional cost when purchasing any other pizza, giving consumers a chance to try the new plant-based protein. Following the initial deal, Pizza Hut will offer its $5 $5 $5 deal, allowing people to buy one to three pizzas for only $5 with a regular-priced large pizza. The deal intends to encourage flexitarian pizza lovers to try the new plant-based protein for a reduced-priced. The deal will last for six weeks from January 31.

Beyond’s plant-based pizza topping is the product of the food tech company’s long-standing partnership with Yum! Brands – the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. Early last year, the two companies teamed up to create Beyond Meat products for fast-food service. As the plant-based fast food industry continues to grow, Beyond aims to steer the industry into the future. Before the Pizza Hut launch, the company had already worked with KFC and Taco Bell to create plant-based options, some of which have become permanent menu items in the United States.

“We’re excited about the long-term potential plant-based protein menu items to have to attract more customers to our brands, especially younger consumers,” Yum! Brands CFO Chris Turner said last February.

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