Part of its mission to introduce carnivores to meat-free options, Hell Pizza has taken customers by surprise with its latest meat-free concoction: the meat-free Burger Pizza.
Following the lead of Air New Zealand's Impossible Burger, the pizza chain launched the pizza on June 21. In a 90-second spot, men at The Godfathers Barbers in Wellington were given the opportunity to be the first to try the Burger Pizza. This sample audience first rave about how the meat is cooked to perfection – the pizza is characterised by its 'medium-rare burger patty' – only to be made aware that the patties are, in fact, plant-based.
The 'meat' on the pizza is plant-based Beyond Meat, which is based on pea protein. According to the ad, 80 percent of people said they were pleasantly surprised or unfazed to find the pizza was plant-based; more than 70 percent said they would buy it again; and 70 percent of people said the patty tasted just like real meat.
Hell Pizza general manager Ben Cumming says they wanted to introduce customers to Beyond Meat in an unexpected way.
"We care about the planet and want to start a conversation and raise awareness about sustainable food choices. A lot of people are instantly put off by the idea of fake meats, so we made the call not to reveal its meat-free origins because we were so confident they'd enjoy these patties.
"So far this year we've sold 35,000 vegan pizzas, and we see that trend increasing all the time. With more pressure on the planet's resources, we need to think about alternative food options. If covertly adding meat-free options to pizza encourages more people to be open-minded, we're happy to do that."
Feedback from Hell fans has so far been encouraging, with one customer saying "Guess I'm a vegetarian now, great job you cheeky devils".
All creative concept and production of the video was done in-house at Hell. The Burger Pizza is available for a limited time.
While Hell is actively introducing more meat-free options to its menu, a campaign last year played to the meat-lovers in its customer-base with a '3 Little Pigs'-style pizza. In 2015, Hell Pizza announced its move to only sourcing free-range meats.