The Ministry for Primary Industries has stepped in following complaints that Hell Pizza had knowingly deceived customers by serving Beyond Meat on their pizzas, a plant-based alternative to meat, without telling people. Over 3000 of these pizzas were sold last month, and with the truth being out in the open, customers are divided. Hell Pizza had intended the stunt to be a marketing ploy, but some customers feel as though they have been lied to. On top of that, there have been questions raised about whether or not Hell Pizza thought about the exposure of allergens to the general public.
The Ministry for Primary Industries has said that they will be talking to Hell Pizza, to remind them about “the importance of consumers being aware of ingredients so they can make informed decisions.” In part, this is because Beyond Meat products warn that pea protein, something contained within the plant-based meat, could potentially harm those allergic to peanuts. There has been a mixed reaction from the public, but the general consensus is that Hell should have let customers know. Gwynn Compton, a Kapiti mayoral candidate, tweeted, “It’s important people know what’s in their food. You’d hope a major food retailer like Hell Pizza would be clear and forthcoming with their customers about what’s going on their pizzas so those with allergies can easily make informed choices.”
“All it would have taken was for one customer to have had a reaction to an unexpected allergen in Beyond Meat’s product which isn’t found in a normal beef pattie for this to have gone from a marketing stunt to a medical drama.”