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The vegan launches continue to roll in during the first week of Veganuary. The latest: U.S.-based pizza chains Domino’s and Pizza Hut have added vegan options including vegan pepperoni and vegan Buffalo chicken.
Domino’s has launched its first vegan pepperoni pizza in the UK, which it’s calling PepperoNAY. The new pies are available across all UK locations for a limited time.
“After much experimenting in the Domino’s kitchens, with taste tests a plenty, we can’t wait to bring Vegan PepperoNAY to the masses,” Melanie Howe, Domino’s food and digital communications manager, said in a statement.
“These smoky PepperoNAY slices are going to go down a treat. With deals to suit every budget, there is no excuse to not try something new this January!”
While the launch marks Domino’s first vegan pepperoni in the UK, it’s not the chain’s first vegan pepperoni. In 2019, it added vegan pepperoni to locations across Australia, along with vegan ham and vegan cheese. Across the UK locations, it’s added vegan cheese and chicken to its menu in recent years.
The PepperoNAY was formulated by Dutch vegan meat brand, The Vegetarian Butcher.
According to Domino’s, demand has never been higher for vegan options. It says it is seeing a 73 percent increase in vegan options. It’s now adjusting its menu to meet the demand.
Pizza Hut’s Veganuary Pie
Pizza Hut has added a vegan pie in the UK, too for Veganuary. This one is a partnership with Frank’s RedHot Sauce. The new vegan pizza, dubbed the Vegan Flamin’ Buffalo, is topped with vegan cheese from Violife, vegan chicken, and Frank’s buffalo-style sauce.
“We are thrilled to announce our latest collab with the iconic Frank’s RedHot® Sauce, and can’t wait for our guests to try it!,” Kathryn Austin, Chief People and Marketing Officer at Pizza Hut Restaurants, said in a statement.
“Expanding our already extensive vegan range has been on our radar for some time, and we’re so excited to be able to offer our Vegan guests even more choice when they eat with us.”
While the U.S. is home to major pizza chains including Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s, and Papa John’s, it’s the market with the fewest vegan options from the top chains.
Most of the big chains have offered vegan cheese at locations in Australia, New Zealand, and across Europe for several years. None of the American chains currently offer vegan cheese.
But they are starting to embrace the meat-free trend. Last summer, Pizza Hut trialed vegan pepperoni made by Beyond Meat in 70 U.S. locations.
“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 the release.
With a Beyond Meat partnership across the Yum! Brands franchises, which includes Pizza Hut, additional launches are expected. Beyond Meat also has a partnership with Papa John’s, which saw meat-free offerings in Costa Rica and Chile in 2020.
U.S.-based Little Caesars also launched a vegan pepperoni in July, using Greenleaf Foods brand Field Roast. That launch followed a 2019 roll-out of Impossible Foods sausage pizzas.
Lead image Jordan Nix on Unsplash.