Pizza Hut to test plant-based 'meat' topping, compostable round box

Pizza Hut is getting in on the plant-based "meat" fad, and putting the pie in a round box that they say is aimed at making the pizza inside taste even better.

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The plant-based pizza topping, known as Incogmeato by MorningStar Farms, a Kellogg Company, will be rolled out Wednesday during a trial at a location in Phoenix. The pizza will be called the Garden Specialty Pizza.

"Incogmeato is a new-to-the-world brand created to challenge convention on delicious plant based food," said Wendy Davidson, Kellogg Away from Home President, in a statement.

Pizza Hut announces limited-time test of a round pizza box and the "Garden Specialty Pizza" – topped with new plant-based 'Incogmeato' Italian sausage – available in Phoenix, Arizona while supplies last. (Photo: Pizza Hut)

"Pizza Hut is the innovation leader in its category and we are excited to partner with them to develop a tasty, first-ever plant-based pizza to satisfy what flexitarians are seeking today," he said.

Going meatless is the hot trend in the restaurant industry, as a greater number of consumers are now open to meat alternatives.

Upstart competitor Blaze Pizza has a number of vegan-friendly options. Carl’s Jr. has the Impossible Burger option on their menu, and Dunkin' has the Beyond Meat Breakfast Sandwich. The Impossible Whopper has been a big hit for Burger King.

The company that created the box, Zume, is a specialty brand focused on sustainable packaging within the restaurant industry. Zume says it is industrially compostable.

"This revolutionary round box — the result of a two-year journey — is the most innovative packaging we’ve rolled out to date," Nicolas Burquier, chief customer & operations officer of Pizza Hut, said in a statement. "The round box was engineered to make our products taste even better — by delivering hotter, crispier pizzas. This box is a win, win — it will improve the pizza-eating experience for our customers and simplify the operating experience for our team members."

It's looking to roll out the box more widely after being tested in Phoenix.

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Proceeds of the sale from Pizza Hut’s Wednesday rollout of the Garden Specialty Pizza and the round box will benefit Arizona Forward, a Phoenix-based sustainability organization.

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