Pizza Hut’s head chef recently told Yahoo, “Consumers always want more cheese.” He must have forgotten vegans, one of the fastest growing food demographics in the world. Vegans don’t eat cheese (or any dairy) but many still love pizza.
That’s why Domino’s, one of Pizza Hut’s competitors, recently announced that it would offer a family-size pizza with vegetables and a soy-based topping for about $20. But don’t get too excited–the vegan pizza will be available only in Israel.
According to NPR’s food blog, The Salt, “it all started with a Facebook campaign led by Vegan Friendly, a group that promotes the vegan lifestyle in Israel. Vegan Friendly claims to have a virtual community of 30,000 vegans in Israel, and has stamped hundreds of stores and restaurants with its vegan-friendly seal. The vegans wanted pizza, and they weren’t going to stop until they got it.”
Inundated with requests for animal-free pizza, Domino’s, which operates 50 locations in Israel, finally acquiesced.
So does this mean that American vegans will soon be able to order animal-free pizza from the comfort of their own couch? Not likely. Apparently, vegans in the U.S. haven’t made nearly the impression on Domino’s that Israeli vegans did.
“We’ll be paying attention to [the vegan pizza in Israel], but it’s not something we’re working on here in the U.S.,” Domino’s spokesman Tim McIntyre told The Salt.
What gives? According to a 2011 poll conducted by Harris Interactive over 7 million Americans (about 2.5 percent of the total population) self-identify as vegan. Even major pop culture figures like Bill Clinton, Ellen Degeneres, Ozzy Osbourne and Mike Tyson have all gone vegan, touting amazing health benefits. That’s no small potatoes, and it could represent a huge new market for the pizza industry. But instead of capitalizing on this untapped audience (that’s what corporations are supposed to do, right?) Domino’s has decided to ignore U.S. vegans.
Here is your chance to speak up, American vegan pizza-lovers. Sign this petition asking Domino’s to bring vegan pizza to the U.S.!