Pizza is the perfect ground for a little culinary experimentation, and who better to conduct those experiments than Pizza Hut? The pizza purveyor is testing out a new, eco-friendly round box to accompany a new topping—MorningStar Farm’s “Incogmeato” Italian sausage.
It seems like a no-brainer. Pizzas are round, why not put them in a round box? Yet, pizza boxes have traditionally been square, leaving space unfilled and material wasted. Why put a round peg in a square hole? The square box is cheaper to make because it only take a single sheet of cardboard. Pizza Hut is working with Zume on the boxes. Zume already developed the round box as a part of its business, which is an automated pizza delivery that uses sustainable practices. Being round, the box uses less packaging. “The revolutionary round box—the result of a two-year journey—is the most innovative packaging we’ve rolled out to date,” said Nicolas Burquier, who is Pizza Hut’s chief customer and operations officer. “The round box was engineered to make our products taste even better—by delivering hotter, crispier pizzas.”
This isn’t the first time that someone has chased after a round box for pizza. John Harvey created a round box called the Presseal in 2004. Apple patented a round pizza box that it has been using in its employee cafeteria since 2010.
And what about the new topping? Incogmeato is a plant-based meat substitute made by Kellogg and marketed under the MorningStar brand. The line of meat includes burgers, chicken nuggets and tenders, and now Italian sausage. “As more consumers are choosing a ‘flexitarian’ lifestyle and actively reducing meat, we’re thrilled to be extending the MorningStar Farms portfolio with a delicious and satisfying meat-like experience,” says Sara Young, general manager of the MorningStar Plant-Based Proteins Department. The sausage is made from non-GMO soy.
The only catch for the new box and topping is that it is only available for a limited time and only in Phoenix, Arizona. If you’re in the area and you want to participate in the test, you can order the “Garden Specialty Pizza,” which will come in the round box, for only $10. All the proceeds from the sale of the pizza will go to Arizona Forward, a sustainability nonprofit based in Phoenix.