Little Caesar's Now Offers Impossible Vegan Sausage Topping

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It's only available in three U.S. locations right now, but there are plans to expand if successful.

For the first time ever, a national pizza chain is offering a vegan meat substitute as a pizza topping. Little Caesar's has recently announced its new Impossible Supreme, a $12 pizza starring vegan sausage made by Impossible Foods, the company behind the burger of the same name. The pizza will be tested for a limited time in three markets: Fort Myers, Florida; Albuquerque, New Mexico and Yakima, Washington.

Little Caesar's CEO David Scrivano told CNBC that he's seen growing interest from customers in meat substitutes, but it really "hit a tipping point last year." The company partnered with Impossible Foods to come up with a recipe that would be similar to Little Caesar's usual meat-based sausage, and the initial 50 prototypes got whittled down to this one.

The result, according to Food & Wine, is "a 'spicy-sweet' meat-free sausage [that] was custom seasoned for Little Caesars with the savory seasonings, taste and texture characteristic of traditional sausage used as pizza toppings."

The vegan sausage is created using the same technology that has made the Impossible burger famous, complete with iron-rich heme, the ingredient that adds a blood-like appearance to the burger, although presumably that won't be visible on a pizza.

While pizza can obviously be made vegetarian and utterly delicious at the same time, Impossible's meat substitutes cater to a particular crowd, described by Engadget as "meat eaters who may have health concerns around animal meat or would consider vegan meat to be an ethical choice, but are also unwilling to eat traditionally unconvincing meat proxies."

The Impossible Supreme is still in a trial phase but Little Caesar's innovation officers are confident in its success. Said Ed Gleich, "We wouldn't test it unless we were predisposed to thinking it could win. So our intent is, if it is successful, we absolutely plan to expand it. Towards the end of year would be the earliest we could do it."