Pizza Hut this morning announced plans to pilot Zume’s signature round pizza boxes. Testing for now will be extremely limited — in fact, it’s only happening at a single location in Phoenix, Ariz.
The boxes are one of a number of different technologies being pushed by the SF Bay startup. In fact, my recent conversation with Zume CEO Alex Garden quickly turned to the subject of pizza boxes.
“We did internet searches for two weeks trying to find packaging companies that made different pizza boxes and there really wasn’t very much out there, they’re almost all made by a small select group of companies that just repeat the same ideas over and over again,” he told me back in September. “So I said, wow that’s really weird. Okay, well, let’s just, we’re a startup, no one can tell us what the rules are. Why don’t we just get a white board and draw what a cool pizza box would be.”
Which is fair enough, I guess. And certainly there’s a lot to be said for a product that’s designed to be compostable, should it eventually be adopted by a massive chain with the scale of a Pizza Hut. For now, however, it seems the piloting is pretty limited in both time and scope. The same location will also be used to test a limited edition plant-based sausage topping by MorningStar.
Perhaps either or both will move beyond this limited publicity push. Certainly sustainable plant products and compatible packaging are steps in the right direction. It’s also another high-profile partnership for Zume, which recently announced that it will be licensing its food truck technology to the admittedly smaller-scale &Pizza chain.