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Where’s the beef? Domino’s embraces meat alternative

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises is the latest business to embrace meat alternatives in a big way.

The pizza giant on Thursday announced a new range of plant-based pizzas that use a soy protein-based meat alternative instead of beef.

The first three pizzas in the range – plant-based Beef & Onion, plant-based Beef Loaded Burger and plant-based Beef Taco Fiesta – will be available in Domino’s stores across Australia from September, with more plant-based products to follow.

“Pizza is our passion and we want to ensure that everyone can share in the joy of pizza, regardless of their religious, ethical, dietary or lifestyle choices,” Domino’s Australia and New Zealand CEO Nick Knight said in a statement.

Domino’s is just the latest food business to embrace meat alternatives to meet growing demand from the vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian markets.

Earlier this month, local QSR business Mad Mex partnered with Australian food manufacturer Simplot on a “100% Not Chicken” range, while US burger chain Burger King launched the Impossible Whopper earlier this year, using plant-based patties from US company, Impossible Foods.

Coles has stocked Beyond Meat’s plant-based burger, Beyond Burger, for some time, and recently added Chicken Free Chicken from New Zealand manufacturer Sunfed Meats to its range.

Meanwhile, Impossible Foods has raised over US$750 million and plans to take its Impossible Burger brand public.

A new report from Global Market Insights suggests the plant-based meat market will be worth US$320 million by 2025, up from US$150 million in 2018.

The market research firm attributed this growth to rising consumer awareness of the health and environmental benefits of plant-based meat alternatives.

Domino’s said it worked with Australian companies for nine months to develop its plant-based ingredients, which are exclusive to the company.

“Developed and made right here in Brisbane, our plant-based ingredients were created especially for us and can’t be found anywhere else on the planet,” Michael Treacy, the franchisor’s global development chef, said.

“We tried and tested hundreds of flavours and variations from around the world before settling on a plant-based ‘beef’ which has a similar taste and texture to our existing beef – with a rich, savoury flavour that’s mouth-wateringly good!”

The meat alternative is made from soy protein and is free from artificial preservatives, flavours and colours, and is lower in saturated fat and higher in protein than beef, the company said.

Treacy compared the new range to the launch of vegan cheese in January 2018, which he said is now a much-loved staple on the menu.

The three plant-based pizzas will also be available in vegan and meat versions. The plant-based option comes at no extra charge.

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