Global pizza giant selects Houston to test new, plant-based pepperoni
Houston has been selected as one of the test markets for the newest innovation in plant-based meat. Bayou City diners will be among the first people in the country to sample Pizza Hut pies topped with Beyond Meat pepperoni.
Developed jointly by Pizza Hut and Beyond Meat, the plant-based pepperoni aims to deliver the same flavors as traditional, pork-based pepperoni in a form that can be consumed by people who don't dig on swine — whether that's for dietary, ethical, religious, or other reasons — although it is made with the same equipment as the restaurant's other pizzas. The product is made from ingredients such as peas and rice and does not contain GMOs, soy, gluten, hormones, antibiotics, or cholesterol, according to a press release.
Houston has been selected as one of five test markets nationally for the product. Other participating cities include Albany, New York; Columbus and Macon, Georgia; and Jacksonville, Florida.
“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,” Dariush Ajami, Beyond Meat's chief innovation officer, said in a statement. “We’re confident fans will love Beyond Pepperoni as it delivers the crisped edges and savory flavor profile of Pizza Hut’s classic pepperoni with the added benefits of plant-based meat.”
Beyond Meat pepperoni will be available at select stores across the Houston area while supplies last. Add it as a topping to any of Pizza Hut's crusts, including the fan favorite Stuffed Crust. Customers may find participating stores via the restaurant's website; place orders via the "Deals" page.
Previously, the company tested a plant-based Italian sausage as part of Yum Brands partnership with Beyond Meat. With almost 18,000 locations in 100 countries, Plano-based Pizza Hut is the largest pizza restaurant in the world by store count.