Little Caesars is the first national pizza chain to jump on the vegan meat bandwagon
- Little Caesars is the first national pizza chain to add a meat substitute to the menu.
- The chain is testing the Impossible Supreme Pizza, made with plant-based sausage from Impossible Foods, in three markets starting on Monday.
- Meat-substitute-based menu items are sweeping the industry, as Burger King rolls out the Impossible Whopper and other chains add their own meatless options.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Little Caesars is the first national pizza chain to add a meat substitute to the menu.
On Monday, the pizza chain announced that it is testing the Impossible Supreme Pizza, made with plant-based sausage from Impossible Foods, in Ft. Meyers, Florida; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Yakima, Washington.
"You don't just do it to be first ... For us, there has got to be a business reason behind it," Little Caesars' chief marketing officer, Ed Gleich, told Business Insider.
Little Caesars has been considering its approach to vegetarian-friendly menu items for roughly a decade, according to Gleich. Corporate staff first taste-tested the Impossible Burger in October 2017; in October 2018 the chain decided that if it was going to add a meat substitute to the menu, it should be meatless sausage.
The result was a product Impossible Foods created specifically for Little Caesars: Impossible Sausage.
"Normally companies like to sell you the product they have, not the one they're going to invent," Gleich said. "But these guys could not have been more open to it."
Little Caesars isn't the first chain that Impossible Foods has created a new product for. Burger King is rolling out the Impossible Whopper by the end of 2019. The Information's Zoë Bernard reported earlier in May that Impossible Foods has claimed chains including Subway, Dunkin' Donuts, Wendy's, Papa John's, and Arby's have expressed interest in a deal with the meat-substitute company.
"It feels like we're at that tipping point," Gleich said. "We feel we are an innovative company and we want to be ... the first brand out as it tips."