Pizza Hut, master of efficiency, testing out plant-based everything

Photo: Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut, that restless creative force behind the Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza and carry-out lockers, can’t seem to slow the breakneck pace of its own innovations. Rather than rest on its meaty laurels, it has become the latest chain to branch out into plant-based meat substitutes—though only one of its 18,000 restaurants will carry the torch for now.

On Tuesday, October 23, for a single day at a single Phoenix location, Pizza Hut will introduce the Garden Specialty Pizza, which swaps Italian sausage for its Incogmeato equivalent. The pie is also topped with banana peppers, onions, and mushrooms, at a price of $10. All the proceeds from the new pizza will go toward sustainability organizations, if that makes you feel better about potentially waiting in long lines.

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But the company is just as excited to debut the “industrially compostable” (and round!) box it comes in, a product of the California-based Zume Inc. that has already been protecting pizzas in Silicon Valley for a few years now. Pizza Hut claims that the box, made of plant fiber instead of cardboard, can do a whole host of impressive things, such as keeping pizza crispier and maintaining its temperature, and also minimizing delivery mishaps. If all goes well with the one-day testing in Phoenix, Pizza Hut plans to roll out these more sustainable boxes nationwide, meaning you could soon be playing a makeshift game of post-dinner Frisbee with your friends no matter where you place your order.

And the Pizza Hut logo on the new box? Yes, of course it’s green. Do you think their marketing department was born yesterday?

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