The Great Beyond Pizza and the Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza have joined the pizza lineup at Pizza Hut, the restaurant chain subsidiary of Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), today. Both pies feature meat-free Beyond Italian Sausage toppings from plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND).
Describing the Beyond Italian Sausage used on the new pizzas as "rich" and "juicy," Pizza Hut's chief brand officer David Graves said in a statement the taste of the plant-based offerings resembles those topped with regular sausage. "I'd challenge anyone to go try the new Beyond Pan Pizza and tell the difference," he said, adding, "I shared it with friends and family, and they couldn’t."
The partnership with Pizza Hut represents a major market expansion for Beyond Meat. The two new pizzas aren't yet a permanent menu item despite their nationwide availability, however, and are only available while supplies last.
The new pies aren't the first fast food chain pizzas to feature plant-based meat toppings. A year and a half ago, Beyond's privately held rival Impossible Foods launched "Impossible Pizza" with Little Caesars. The culinary experiment's geographic area was limited to Florida, New Mexico, and Washington state.
The news comes just as Beyond Meat's stock has endured a huge plunge following its third-quarter earnings report. The company's growth streak already ended in an October share value slide in the face of rising competition. Large fast food partnerships such as the Pizza Hut pact, if successful, could potentially help the beleaguered plant-based meat maker regain lost ground.