Little Caesars announced today that it will introduce a vegan pepperoni to its US menu nationwide. The third-largest pizza chain in the world will feature its first plant-based meat option on its new Planteroni pizza - a dairy-based pie topped with vegan pepperoni. The plant-based pizza topping comes from the vegan brand Field Roast Grain Co. The plant-based topping can be added to any custom pizza, but currently, Little Caesars does not offer a plant-based cheese for its pizzas.

The Planeteroni pizza is also a part of the company’s Slices-N-Sticks promotion where customers can order half a Planeteroni and dairy-cheese breadstick. Customers can purchase the full-size Planteroni pizza for $8.49 at Little Caesers in Los Angeles, Detroit, Miami, San Francisco, New York City, and Portland.

“Planteroni delivers a plant-based version of the delicious flavor of America’s most popular pizza topping, and you need to taste it to believe it,” Chief Marketing Officer at Little Caesars Jeff Klein said. “This product is really going to surprise and delight our customers.”

Field Roast released its vegan pepperoni in January. The plant-based protein uses pea protein that is marbled to better replicate its animal-based counterpart. Field Roast debuted the plant-based pepperoni at foodservice providers at the beginning of the year and started shipping it to retailers nationwide during the second quarter of 2021.

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“This is a huge moment for pizza lovers because, for the first time, they have access to a zesty, bold plant-based pepperoni made with pea protein that absolutely delivers on taste,” President of Field Roast’s parent company Greenleaf Foods Dan Curtin said. “We believe every occasion deserves bold, inspired flavors - we’re excited to work with Little Caesars to deliver on that promise.”

Little Caesars became the largest national pizza chain to offer a plant-based pepperoni when it partnered with Field Roast, but it was not the first. Earlier this year, Canadian pizza chain Pizza Nova became the first to incorporate plant-based protein on its toppings menu. The plant-based pepperoni became available at its 140 locations across Southern Ontario in the company’s effort to develop new plant-based menu options to cater to its vegan customers. Little Caesars also added to the plant-based ingredient in response to the rise of plant-based interest, where consumer data shows that 69 percent of Americans were interested in trying plant-based meat.

“We anticipate that this product will be wildly successful and we intend to launch it nationally once that is confirmed,” Director of Media Relations at Little Caesar’s Jill Proctor told VegNews.

Little Caesars currently doesn’t offer plant-based cheese or a vegan-friendly alternative but claims that it’s preparing to enhance its plant-based options. Before the plant-based pepperoni, Little Caesars revealed a plant-based sausage pizza with Impossible Foods’ plant-based protein. The Impossible Supreme Pizza could not be ordered vegan but saw success during its trial run. The company is working to develop more menu items for its plant-based customers, so plant-based pizza lovers can expect vegan forward foods from Little Caesars.”

“We are committed to innovation and we are always testing new products,” Proctor said. “While we don’t offer plant-based cheese just yet, we are constantly evaluating options.”

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