It seems Little Caesars is the lastest fast-food restaurant to jump on the plant-based meat bandwagon. CNN Business reported this morning that the pizza chain is testing out a new pizza topped with sausage made with Impossible Foods’ plant-based meat.
Called the Impossible Supreme pizza, the pie also comes topped with mushrooms, caramelized onions, and green peppers. Impossible developed a new sausage product especially for the pizza chain, making it the first time the startup has sold anything beyond its signature “beef,” be it served in a burger or a taco bowl.
The new ‘za has cheese on it, so it’s not vegan. But like most plant-based meat products these days, it’s not meant for a vegan audience. “The Impossible Supreme pizza is designed to appeal to meat eaters,” Ed Gleich, Little Caesars Chief Innovation Officer, told CNN Business.
So far Impossible seems to be doing quite well appealing to meat eaters in the fast food realm. They’re already on the menu at White Castle and Qdoba, and are preparing to roll out the successful Impossible Whopper in all 7,300 Burger King locations around the States.
The Impossible Supreme pizza is currently available at 58 locations in Florida, New Mexico and Washington State, and Little Caesars plans to expand it to all its menus if this first run goes well. The new pizza costs $12, which is slightly pricier than most of Little Caesars offerings (the 5 Meat Feast is only $9).
Despite the higher cost, I’m betting that test won’t take long. Just look at how quickly Burger King opted to roll out its successful Impossible Whopper nationwide. If it does happen, that will mean over 4,300 more restaurant partners for the Redwood City, Calif.-based startup.
Impossible’s rapid expansion is great news for flexitarians — especially those on a budget — but it also presents a challenge. Recently the startup has been struggling to fulfill skyrocketing demand for its plant-based meat, leading to shortages across the country. However, just last week Impossible raised $300 million which will hopefully help them ramp up production to supply their growing bastion of fast-food restaurant partners.
I’m not surprised to see Little Caesars embracing the plant-based trend. The Detroit-based chain has actually been innovating quite a bit lately. In addition to embracing plant-based meat, they also have the Pizza Portal, a self-service pickup station for customers placing mobile orders. And let’s not forget that the company has a patent for a pizza-making robot.
Maybe down the road that robot will be slinging some plant-based sausage pies.