When I first heard that the Little Caesars pizza chain is offering a Planteroni pizza, I said, “Whaaat?” Fake pepperoni. Alternative pepperoni. Plant-based pepperoni. From what I have learned, it is made from pea protein (not soy), jazzed up with fennel, cracked black pepper, garlic, and paprika.
Pizza is fun food. It may not be the healthiest meal option ingredient-wise, but eating it makes people happy. It doesn’t matter if the pizza is Chicago-style, Detroit-style, NY-style, or any of several regional variations.
Pizzerias putting a plant-based, healthier pepperoni alternative on the market is not going to move the needle much on the old health-o-meter.
But plant-based items are picking up steam on some other fast-food offerings, so why not on pizza?
Consumers were surveyed. Apparently, they have a growing appetite for plant-based protein options. Little Caesars said 69% of people surveyed said they would order plant-based meat.
So, Little Caesars struck up a deal with the Field Roast brand to satisfy that “public craving” with the Planteroni Pizza.
“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,” declared Little Caesars CMO Jeff Klein. “This product is really going to surprise and delight our customers.”
“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,” said Dan Curtin, President of Greenleaf Foods, owner of the Field Roast brand. “We believe every occasion deserves bold, inspired flavors—we’re excited to work with Little Caesars to deliver on that promise.”
But did they deliver?
Planteroni pizza is currently only available in Little Caesars’ outlets in Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, San Francisco, Detroit, and Portland, Oregon. So I could not check it out.
The UPROXX website just ran a review (Tuesday, 7/20/20) “We Tried The New Little Caesars Plant-Based Pepperoni Pizza, Here Are Our Thoughts.”
Go to the website for the full review, but here is an excerpt:
“This plant-based pepperoni is also too thick, it doesn’t flip up on the edges in the way that oven-baked pepperoni should. Instead, it just lies there flat like someone scattered some wood chips on a perfectly good cheese pizza. Where regular pepperoni tears so easily in your mouth that you don’t even think about it, you’re going to find yourself chewing this topping so long it’s all you can think about. I’m not sure if that’s because of the pea protein it’s made of, or because it’s just cut way too thick.”
Remember my original statement about the “healthy value” of pizza? Only the pepperoni is plant-based. The rest of the Little Caesar Planteroni pizza is made up of cheese, olive oil, sauce, etc.
Maybe I am old-fashioned. But if I wanted a veggie-like topping on my pizza, I would go with green peppers or mushrooms or eggplants or chickpeas or asparagus or kale or broccoli or zucchini, or…
Well, you get the picture. Would love to hear from anyone that has sampled the Planteroni pizza at Little Caesars pizza.
(What type of content should your business website blog offer? Advice rather than product promotion. Be a valuable info resource rather than an irritating source of sales pitches. For example, if you owned a pizza shop or restaurant, then you might share this type of content. Contact me if interested.)