Pizza Hut Restaurants plans to expand its vegan focus after the number of guests trying a vegan pizza doubled last month.
The move has led to the chain announcing that its ‘Pepperphoni’ vegan pizza will make a return to its main menu from the end of February.
CEO Jens Hofma said that taking part in ‘Veganuary’ was a natural step for the business to show its support for its vegan offering and also reflect its aim to be a carbon neutral business by 2030.
“At Pizza Hut Restaurants we are dedicated to evolving our practices and processes with the aim of being a more responsible business. Our vegan menu is one of the many initiatives we have in place – including our food donation programme and our continued commitment to food waste reduction.”
He added: “Having easy access to alternative products will be key to help us stay on track, that’s why we’ve already started introducing milk alternatives at our Restaurant Support Centre and also have a dedicated company vegan group set up for all our team members to share their experiences and useful hints and tips to eating vegan.”
More than 400,000 people signed up for this year’s Veganuary compared to 250,000 in 2019.
Hundreds of new plant-based products and menu items were launched during January, including the first Veganuary offerings from fast-food giants KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King.
KFC sold one million vegan burgers in the first month they were on sale – equivalent to one being sold every three seconds since the launch on 2nd January.
And according to Deliveroo, orders of vegan dishes almost doubled when comparing the number in January 2019 and January 2020, increasing by 78%.
On the high street, the likes of Greggs profited from vegan demand. A spokesperson for the bakery chain said: “The launch of our Vegan Steak Bake has been a huge success, even bigger than we had originally anticipated. Due to the success of the launch, we’re now working on rolling the Vegan Steak Bake out to all shops as soon as we can.”
Subway, meanwhile, said it has seen an “incredible” response from guests to its Meatless Meatball Marinara.
“People are loving the taste and have said that they are as equally delicious as the original. We’ve seen a phenomenal uplift in sales as a result and hope our guests continue to enjoy our meatless options now Veganuary has finished,” said a company representative.