A New Zealand pizza franchise that discreetly sold pizza with plant-based meat on it, is being accused of potentially putting customers in harms way. Last week Friday, Hell Pizza introduced their Burger Pizza supposedly containing a medium rare burger patty topping. Roughly 3,000 of these pizza were sold. Yesterday, the franchise made it known that the burger patties were actually meat-free plant-based patties from the groundbreaking environmentally conscious firm, Beyond Meat.
The real experience vs. social media drama
Several individuals on social media were outraged. One comment on the Hell Pizza Facebook page read, “This is straight out pure deceit. There are people who have reactions to certain vegetable-based products”. However, the majority of those who actually experienced the pizza found it to be rather enjoyable. One customer said that the “pizza was tasty” and they were “pleasantly surprised to discover it was meat-free”.
“A lot of people are instantly put off by the idea of fake meats, so we made the call to not reveal its meat-free origins because we were so confident they’d enjoy these patties,” said the General Manager for Hell Pizza, Ben Cumming. “We haven’t lied about the product; we rightly called the product burger patties, and customers have read into that what they will. We are very confident there is no breach of the fair trading act, and Consumer NZ agrees with us”.
Why Beyond Meat is such a success
The Beyond Meat burger is comprised of plant proteins such as peas, mung beans, and rice, and it is made without using soy, gluten, or any GMOs. The multi-billion dollar company is changing the traditional perception of “fake-meat” products in a largely successful way. Among others, Leonardo DiCaprio recently invested in the innovative company as it is a healthier and more environmentally friendly alternative to meat products that contribute to more than 20 percent of global carbon emissions.