The news is big. Huge. Pizza Hut is offering, first in the U.K. and now nationwide, a vegan cheese option that can be added to any of their pies (for a small additional charge). But how big of a deal is it, really, that this colossal pizza chain is now offering a vegan option?
With estimates of market share around 13% , Pizza Hut Restaurants is a big player, indeed the biggest player amongst pizza chains. This move could and should result in the other big purveyors, namely Dominos and Papa John’s, rolling out their own vegan cheese options. Perhaps it’s not long until vegan cheese is a standard option at every pizza joint. Woo hoo!
Aside from making many pizza-loving vegans happy, there are bigger implications for this move. While you may not be a big Pizza Hut fan (as I’m not, since I rarely outsource my food preparation), it’s still exciting to see large chains bringing in options that not only benefit vegans, but will most certainly result in less demand for dairy cheese.
Less demand for dairy cheese means less suffering for cows on dairy farms. Whether or not I (or you) personally eat at Pizza Hut (I don’t), really isn’t important. What is important is that this move opens up the option of dairy alternatives to, well, the millions of people that do eat at Pizza Hut.
People that aren’t necessarily vegan order vegan options all the time. They may be trying to eat healthier, or may consider themselves part time vegans. Perhaps some will decide that eating dairy cheese that’s crawling with bacteria and full of pus just isn’t that appetizing. Whatever the situation is, having the alternative available may be the only hurdle some have to choosing it.
Vegans have rallied for a vegan cheese option from the major pizza players for awhile. But with most recent statistics indicating vegans are only 6% of the population, it sure didn’t seem likely that a large restaurant chain would ever make that change. I certainly wouldn’t have taken the other side of that bet.
It’s a good reminder that even when change seems unlikely and impossible at times, it may just surprise you what a small group can do.