And who said fast-food innovation has peaked.
Beyond Meat (BYND) and Yum! Brands (YUM) said Tuesday they will debut a new pizza featuring plant-based pepperoni from Beyond Meat. The pizza will be available initially at 70 Pizza Hut locations, including Albany, N.Y.; Columbus and Macon Georgia; Houston, Texas; and Jacksonville, Fla.
The pepperoni pizza is the first creation under a new global partnership signed by Yum! Brands and Beyond Meat in February. Under the deal, the two companies plan to co-create plant-based food for the menus of Yum! Brands-owned KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell over the next several years.
To be sure, the pepperoni pizza isn't the first item Beyond Meat and Yum! Brands have cooked up.
In January 2020, Beyond Meat released plant-based fried chicken at KFC locations in Charlotte, N.C., Nashville, Tenn., and Kentucky for a limited-time.
And in November 2020, Pizza Hut released the Beyond Pizza for a limited-time nationwide and in select spots in London. At the time, it marked the first time a plant-based meat topped pizza was available nationwide.
The two pizzas were coined the Beyond Italian Sausage (self explanatory) and the Great Beyond (veggie pizzas also topped with Beyond sausage crumbles).
'Reduction in distribution'
Indeed, the latest pizza at Pizza Hut is a nice win for Beyond Meat following some loss of distribution at Dunkin' Brands, in particular a breakfast sandwich launched in 2019. The decision comes as new management at the now privately owned Dunkin' Brands (parent company is Inspire Brands) streamlines its menu.
"We did see a significant reduction in distribution at Dunkin' Brands as they rationalized their menu. We remain engaged with Dunkin' around future innovation and collaborations and our distribution throughout their Western U.S. stores. I should note that our Breakfast Sausage Pattie continues to do extremely well in other U.S. venues, such as Peet's and Philz Coffee among others," explained Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown on an earnings call last week.