Pizza Hut UK has revealed that it would like to replace all its dairy cheese with a vegan alternative one day as part of its plans to become more sustainable.
While the chain says its does not envision taking dairy products off the menu in the 'near future', it is 'dedicated to evolving our practices and processes with the aim of making a more positive impact'.
The UK arm of the popular chain recently unveiled ambitious plans to become a cabon-neutral business by 2030 - and plant-based food is part of its plans to achieve this. It has already expanded its vegan menu to include a number of pizzas as well as starters and desserts. Its most recent vegan launch is the dairy-free stuffed crust - which it unveiled at a central London event last night.
Vegan products for non-vegans
Speaking at the event, which Plant Based News attended, Ciara Grace, senior menu innovation manager at Pizza Hut Restaurants UK, said the UK outlets would eventually like to swap out all dairy cheese for vegan.
She then added that Pizza Hut UK has already replaced the cheesecake on the menu with a dairy-free alternative, saying: "This is a stepping stone towards [achieving the goal of becoming carbon neutral]. This is our only cheesecake on the menu, it replaced our dairy cheesecake, and we've had so many positive comments from it."
She added that the chain wanted to help people 'flex' their diet - incorporate more vegan foods into their diet - by creating products that non-vegans would choose.
A spokesperson told PBN: "We are on a innovation journey where we focus on listening to our guests and challenging ourselves to create new products that make a more positive impact. We are really proud of our plant-based food offering and are delighted to be able to give all our guests, including non-vegans, the freedom of choice. We have been serving Vegan Pizzas since 2017 and now have expanded to offer a full Vegan menu with a range of Starters, Mains and Desserts.
"We don’t envision taking dairy products off the menu in the near future, however we are really proud of our plant-based food offering and are always looking to innovate and test new products. This includes our current trial of dairy free mayonnaise in our Salad Bar and also potential for future trials of cheese blends. The Vegan menu has had a phenomenal response from our guests, which has led us to simplifying our menu even further, with our dairy-free ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cheesecake’ as the only cheesecake on our restaurant menu.
"At Pizza Hut Restaurants we are dedicated to evolving our practices and processes with the aim of making a more positive impact. Our Vegan Menu is one of the many initiatives we have in place - including our food donation programme, our continued commitment to food reduction and our aim to be a carbon neutral business by 2030."
Speaking earlier this year about the brand's goal to become more sustainable, CEO Jens Hofma said: "At Pizza Hut Restaurants we are dedicated to evolving our practices and processes with the aim of being a more responsible business.
"Our vegan menu is one of the many initiatives we have in place – including our food donation program and our continued commitment to food waste reduction.
"Having easy access to alternative products will be key to help us stay on track, that’s why we’ve already started introducing milk alternatives at our Restaurant Support Centre and also have a dedicated company vegan group set up for all our team members to share their experiences and useful hints and tips to eating vegan."
*This article was updated on February 26, with additional comments from Pizza Hut, as well as clarifying that these comments are from Pizza Hut Restaurants United Kingdom.