Founded by New York restaurateur David Mintz, Tofutti is best known for its ice cream substitute and targeting lactose-intolerant, kosher, food allergy sensitive, vegetarian and vegan markets. In the good name of vegan pizza, they have already introduced a line of frozen dairy-free pizzas, named Pizza Pizzaz.
However, earlier this summer Tofutti announced a bigger move in the plan for the vegan pizza takeover: All of us lactose-intolerant/vegan/anti-dairy may finally be able to enjoy pizza with our fellow omnis all under one roof! WHAT?!
Tofutti is looking to enter the pizza marketplace, by making their ‘Better than Mozzarella Cheese’ topping accessible in pizza chains across the country. If the plan is effective, it will make Tofutti the change-maker in dairy-free pizzaville.
Well, the plan was unleashed summer 2013, so we caught up with Tofutti Chief Marketing Officer, Milt Weinstock, to give us an update on Tofutti’s plan for licensing the use and sale of its new dairy-free mozzarella cheese.
iEG: How do pizzerias feel about introducing vegan pizzas?
Milt: They’re fine since this is added business from consumers who would not normally walk into their establishments. And now they (and their friends and family) can. We are talking of over 100 million consumers who fall into either the vegan or lactose intolerant consumer groups.
iEG: What has been your biggest accomplishment in the project so far?
Milt: Developing mozzarella that is compatible with the ovens (both temperature and heating duration) that the various franchise pizza companies use, while still maintaining the desired taste and texture of dairy mozzarella.
iEG: The campaign targets a huge percentage of people who are missing out on a slice of pizza and who are totally off limits to pizza parlors. How effective has the campaign been to make pizza chains realize they are missing a huge market of people?
Milt: It takes a fair amount of education to convince them that the product will perform well and the investment in time and resources are worthy of their energies.
iEG: Definitely…Especially since most pizzerias like to stay within their old-school ways, for example, by only using cow’s cheese. How has Tofutti overcome this barrier to promote vegan cheese in pizzas?
Milt: Very carefully! Seriously, the vegan and lactose intolerant community seek out alternatives that do not contain cheese, so we are really adding to pizzeria’s sales since these groups don’t frequent these places.
iEG: This is going to be a huge game-changer in the pizza industry. Can you give us a sneak-peak of who might be incorporating vegan pizzas into their facility?
Milt: We are in the midst of discussions with some very large chains, I can’t tell you who we are working with but I can let you know we are aiming for mid-2014 for vegan pizzas to be made in pizzerias.
iEG: That sounds amazing! Even better that it is only just right around the corner! So tell us, what makes “Better Than Mozzarella Cheese” actually better than mozzarella cheese.
Milt: It has no cholesterol or butterfat, and since it has no dairy, it can be used by vegans and lactose intolerant consumers. Importantly, the taste, stretch and melt are the same as dairy mozzarella.
“We wanted to make the ultimate creamy smooth dairy-free alternative for pizza lovers and lasagna enthusiasts,” said Mintz.
iEG: What do you ultimately hope to accomplish in the near future?
Milt: Allowing ALL consumers, whether they are vegans or lactose intolerant, the freedom to enjoy dairy foods, like pizza, without concerns or after effects.
Great news for the pizza biz, a dairy free option could increase overall sales by 33% or more! Health conscious consumers will now be able to enjoy a dairy-free mozzarella that is also free of any hydrogenated fats or oils.
The question, “What about me?” has been said too often by people on dietary restrictions. Tofutti Brands has also taken on the challenge of providing healthy, tasty products and promoting awareness of Tofutti Brands alternatives with its “freedom of choice” educational campaign.
More than half of the lactose-sensitive population in the United States is children asking to eat pizza. Tofutti Brands offer children, parents and schools a healthy, tasty solution.