Vegan dieci pizza: a success story
For almost a year now, dieci has been offering vegan pizzas in its range - an innovation that reflects the spirit of the time. How did that come about?
The vegan diet is based exclusively on vegetable products. Food of animal origin, such as mozzarella cheese known for its use on pizza, Gorgonzola DOP or raw ham San Daniele DOP are therefore taboo. More and more people are adopting a vegan diet, which has led to a growth in demand for a purely plant-based alternative to the Italian classic. Reason enough for dieci – the largest pizza delivery in Switzerland – to take up this challenge. For almost a year now, dieci pizzas have been available with vegan cheese: at dieci restaurants as well as delivery locations.
How to choose a suitable vegan cheese?
The classic dieci pizza Margherita is almost vegan by nature, since neither the dough nor the tomato sauce contain animal products. Dieci only had to look for a cheese alternative in order to offer a completely vegan pizza to its clients. But how do you find a suitable product that everyone likes? Peter Widmer, Deputy Managing Director and Quality Manager of Dieci AG, explains: “We thought it best to bring professionals on board. People, who already eat vegan food and know it well – thus customers, who want to order vegan pizza”.
An in-depth food tasting
Dieci contacted the Swiss Vegan Society Verein Vegane Gesellschaft Schweiz to find out whether they would like to participate in the selection process, or rather in a blind tasting. In February 2019, a "cheese tasting" was carried out together with 15 association members in the dieci branch in Lucerne. Five different vegan cheese products were pre-selected and had to prove themselves in regards to two situations: the vegan cheese was tested on a pizza coming straight out of the oven, while in the second situation, the product was stored in the pizza box for a few minutes - to simulate a delivery situation. The cheeses were evaluated according to the following criteria: aroma, consistency, texture and degree of melting.
And the winner is...
At the end of the day, a clear winner was chosen: the vegan grated cheese produced from the German company Simply V. The founder of the company originates from the dairy industry and now provides with Simply V a vegetable cheese alternative based on almonds and coconut oil. In addition to its taste and melting quality, the vegan grated cheese is also convincing from a sustainability point of view, as it contains no palm oil or soya. Furthermore, people suffering from allergies also benefit: the vegan alternative is lactose and gluten-free.
In April 2019, the first vegan dieci pizza was ordered online, baked until crisp and delivered hot. In the meantime, the vegan dieci pizza has established itself and is being ordered frequently. "The launch was successful - we are very satisfied. We can imagine that the cheese will not be the last vegan alternative we offer our customers", says Peter Widmer.