MorningStar Farms’ plant-based Grillers Mince is being trialled in New Zealand, on a new vegan-friendly pizza, by Pizza Hut.

The trial of the pizza, called the Tom Pizza and fronted by Kiwi vegan comedian Tom Sainsbury, is currently available in more than 100 of the chain’s outlets nationwide.

The new dish has been created to appeal to the growing number of consumers opting for flexitarian and vegan diets, or what Pizza Hut has labelled ‘Pizzatarian’. 

The pizza features MorningStar Farms plant-based Grillers Mince, vegan cheese, red onions, tomatoes and smokey BBQ sauce.

MorningStar Farms is believed to be one of the biggest meat-alternative brands in North America. Found in the supermarket freezer aisle, it has contributed to one third of Absolute Dollar Growth of the category within 10 months of launch and the company says has outgrown its key competitors.

Joanne Doran, Marketing Manager for MorningStar Farms New Zealand says that since launching the brand in New Zealand at the end of 2019 it has developed a growing customer base looking for an easy way to reduce their meat consumption.

“Kiwis are very much in tune with changing trends and they want easy plant-based options whether at home or out and about,” says Doran.

“This is the perfect partnership for us. It shows the versatility of the product as well as getting more people to try and enjoy it, and we’re certainly open to doing more. MorningStar Farms has a range of plant-based vegetarian and vegan foods, including burger patties and chik’n nuggets that make great meat-alternative menu items and are all frozen for easy storage.”

Geraldine Oldham, Chief Marketing Officer for Restaurant Brands, says if the trial proves popular, it may be added to the menu permanently.

“We’re always looking at ways to improve the customer experience and widen our appeal. A vegan-friendly plant-based topping is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while,” says Oldham.

“MorningStar Farms approached us at just the right time with a product that was perfect for our needs. I’m pleased to say feedback so far has been extremely positive.”

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