Pizza Hut is cautiously testing out the plant-based meat trend, starting with a new Garden Specialty Pizza that’s topped with MorningStar Farm’s “Incogmeato” Italian sausage, which will only available for a day in one Phoenix location. The pizza will also be served in a round pizza box, which is industrially compostable and interlocks with other boxes for stability. After the event, the company says it’ll look for more ways to roll out the box more widely in the future.
The round box was developed in partnership with Zume, an automated pizza delivery startup with a focus in sustainable practices. Compared to a normal, square pizza box, the round box uses less overall packaging. “This revolutionary round box—the result of a two-year journey—is the most innovative packaging we’ve rolled out to date,” said Pizza Hut chief customer and operations officer Nicolas Burquier. “The round box was engineered to make our products taste even better—by delivering hotter, crispier pizzas.”
Pizza boxes have always been square since it’s cheaper to produce, as they can be made from a single sheet of cardboard. But that hasn’t stopped people from trying to innovate. In 2004, an inventor named John Harvey created a round pizza box called the Presseal, which never quite caught on. And in 2010, Apple patented a round pizza box, which has been used in its employee cafeteria since.
Fast food companies like Burger King and KFC have been working with startups like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods to roll out fake meat versions of popular menu items, like the Beyond Fried Chicken and Impossible Whopper. Pizza Hut’s Garden Specialty Pizza uses MorningStar Farms’ Incogmeato Italian sausage, which parent company Kellogg launched just last month. Made from non-GMO soy, it too, bleeds like real meat like its competitors’ products.
If you’re interested in trying out the limited-edition Incogmeato pizza, you can head over to the Phoenix Pizza Hut at 3602 E. Thomas Rd. on October 23rd at 11AM MT. The Garden Specialty Pizza and round pizza box will cost $10, and all proceeds will go to Arizona Forward, a Phoenix-based sustainability nonprofit.