NEW YORK — Banza, the rapidly growing maker of chickpea-based comfort foods, announced Sept. 21 that two new varieties of its chickpea pizza are hitting shelves nationwide starting this month. Joining Banza's line of high-fiber, high-protein chickpea pizzas are Supreme, a spin on a traditional sausage pizza featuring Beyond Sausage Italian Crumbles, and Plant-Based Cheese, a vegan pie made with Follow Your Heart dairy-free cheese.
The new pizzas offer the same nutritional benefits as Banza's original pizza varieties — more protein and fiber, and fewer net carbs and sodium than other traditional and better-for-you pizza crusts — and the same crispy crust and doughy center people crave in a slice. The two new pizza offerings add plant-based ingredients to Banza's pizza line-up to satisfy different taste preferences and dietary needs.
- Banza Supreme (vegetarian): Made with a smoky San Marzano tomato sauce, layered on a three cheese blend of dairy-based mozzarella, provolone, and white cheddar, followed by red onions, fire-roasted green and red peppers, and topped with rich, savory, plant-based Beyond Sausage Italian Crumbles.
- Banza Plant-Based Cheese (vegan): An entirely vegan pie, layered with a San Marzano tomato sauce infused with caramelized onion and roasted garlic, and topped with a melty, creamy plant-based mozzarella from Follow Your Heart.
"Chickpeas, and more broadly beans, are one of the best foods for human health and the environment," said Brian Rudolph, CEO & Co-Founder, Banza. "Since launching our crust, we've hoped to create a vegan cheese pizza. Consumer research echoed that sentiment, along with an interest in supreme. While we aren't comfortable using meat, we're filling the void using a plant-based option. We created these two new varieties to give people another way to enjoy their favorite foods, all while eating more chickpeas."
The new pizza offerings are catering to the growing number of consumers in the U.S. looking for plant-based options as more and more people seek dietary choices that make them feel good while aligning with their social values. Chickpeas are frequently consumed in plant-based diets due to their high protein and fiber content and low carbon footprint. With the new Banza Supreme and Banza Plant-Based Cheese Pizzas, Banza is teaming up with Beyond Meat and Follow Your Heart to bring the joy of eating pizza to the growing number of people who are craving more diverse, plant-based options.
"Beyond Meat's delicious plant-based sausage — made of simple ingredients without GMOs, soy or gluten — is an excellent complement to Banza's better-for-you pizzas," said Rebecca Infusino, Vice President of Retail Sales, Beyond Meat. "Our products are a match made in pizza heaven as our brands continue to make nutritious and sustainable plant-based options more accessible to people everywhere."
Banza Pizza launched in October 2020 with four varieties, including Four Cheese, Margherita, Roasted Veggie and Plain Crust, and was the first commercial chickpea-based pizza crust. In less than a year on the market, Banza Pizza has grown its retail footprint by more than 300%, expanded into food service through a partnership with Oath Pizza, and become the fastest-turning frozen pizza crust, flying off the shelves faster than any other frozen pizza crust brand in grocery. Consumer demand for better-for-you alternatives to traditional comfort foods in grocery stores continues to increase, with the total better-for-you pizza category having grown 41% in the past two years, according to Nielsen data. Chickpea-based foods are continuing to show strong growth, with Banza seeing three million new households buying its products in the past six months - nearly twice as many as the leading cauliflower pizza brand. 50% of consumers who purchase Banza pizza in grocery stores are new to the frozen pizza category, showing that Banza's chickpea pizza crust is filling a gap in more nutritious pizza options.
"We are thrilled to add Follow Your Heart vegan, plant-based mozzarella cheese to Banza's pizza crust which uses whole, plant-based ingredients like chickpeas," said Bob Goldberg, CEO, Follow Your Heart. "We know consumers love using Follow Your Heart cheese when making their plant-based pizza creations at home, and this partnership makes it easier and more accessible than ever to enjoy delicious, plant-based foods."
Banza's Supreme and Plant-Based Cheese Pizzas will begin rolling out in national retailers and e-commerce platforms including Kroger, Market Basket, Thrive Market, FreshDirect, Amazon and EatBanza.com today. For more information on Banza and for Banza's store locator, visit eatbanza.com.
Banza makes comfort foods out of chickpeas, including pasta, pizza, rice, and mac & cheese. Since 2014, Banza has been on a mission to inspire people to eat more chickpeas and other beans because of their positive impact on human and environmental health. Today, Banza's chickpea products are available in over 18,000 stores nationwide, and it is the fastest-growing pasta brand in the country.