The plant-based meat wave is sweeping the nation, and Pizza Hut is the latest fast food franchise to join the meatless bandwagon. The alternative protein pizza will be unveiled in Arizona and will feature MorningStar Farm’s “Incogmeato” Italian sausage. The new menu item will be placed in more sustainable, circular boxes rather than the customary square ones.

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Featured in a Garden Specialty Pizza on a hand-tossed crust alongside banana peppers, mushrooms and onion toppings, the Incogmeato Italian sausage is 100 percent meat-free. The new pizza is certain to delight flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan taste buds.

Related: Pizza Hut unveils a zero-emissions delivery truck that makes pizzas on the go

Forward-thinking innovations, where food is concerned, are nothing new for Pizza Hut. “We innovate for human’s sake and we’ll win on taste — period,” said Marianne Radley, Pizza Hut’s chief brand officer. “When we talk about feeding more possibilities, we mean it.”

As for the signature round boxes, Pizza Hut partnered with sustainability company Zume. Not only will the round box be industrially compostable, but its round shape will cut back on packaging sizes, making it more environmentally friendly. The round box, which has been in development for the past two years, will also snap shut to ensure fresh delivery and will likewise interlock with other round boxes for stackable stability. With less bulk, the round box is also easier to carry and store in the refrigerator when there are leftovers.

“This revolutionary round box — the result of a two-year journey — is the most innovative packaging we’ve rolled out to date,” said Nicolas Burquier, Pizza Hut chief customer and operations officer. “The round box was engineered to make our products taste even better — by delivering hotter, crispier pizzas.”

Alternative meat substitutes have been growing in popularity across the United States. According to a recent joint report from Plant-Based Foods Association and the nonprofit Good Food Institute (GFI), the U.S. retail market of plant-based foods is worth $4.5 billion and, in the past year alone, grew five times faster than all retail food sales. What’s more, total plant-based meat sales now exceed $800 million, with a 2 percent share of U.S. retail packaged-meat sales that continues to grow.

For a limited time, the Incogmeato pizza and its signature, sustainable, round box will “test” launch first in a single branch location of the Grand Canyon State — 3602 E. Thomas Road in Phoenix. Customers can purchase the new item for $10 in-store, while supplies last. Proceeds will go to Arizona Forward, a sustainability organization.

+ Pizza Hut


Image via Pizza Hut