Can you hear the collective sigh of disappointment today? Despite an outpouring of positive press, Pizza Hut rescinded the announcement of vegan cheese finally coming to their United States locations this summer.
This, sadly, did not surprise me. I was more surprised to find out they were doing the right thing after all these years.
Why? There’s a trend! My brain sees connections, and apparently I am not alone.
Both Domino’s and Pizza Hut have a lot in common financially. They both opened vegan markets successfully in other countries, yet they do not bring these options to the US despite knowing it works.
This is puzzling, because they have undoubtedly lost customers refusing to evolve with consumer demand for dairy free options. Me included! Your girl was a regular at the Rochester Hills Pizza Hut in high school, and the delivery guy knew me well when I was a vegetarian ordering stuffed crust pizza (I now shudder to think of all the baby cows killed for the amount of cheese I consumed). Shifting to a dairy free, plant based diet meant buying vegan pizza elsewhere. And there are tons of yummy options at locally owned establishments.
If United States consumer groups are demanding vegan cheese, yet the restaurant does not cater to consumer demand, why would they make a decision to not carry vegan options from a financial standpoint? Wouldn’t the market research show that vegan cheese is not only the right thing to do for the animals, but actually, dare I say, profitable?
Unfortunately, it’s much bigger than that.
The dairy industry proudly boasts about their financial partnerships with both Pizza Hut and Domino’s. Both companies not only take money from the dairy industry, but they use the Dairy industry scientists and nutritionists to introduce more menu items to push larger amounts of milk.
According to Dairy.org on a February 2018 release, “Pizza Hut – a dairy checkoff partner- increased the amount of cheese on its pan pizzas by 25 percent, a move that will require an additional 150 million pounds of milk annually to meet the change.”
They go on to say that the “project was made possible thanks to dairy scientist Nitin Joshi, a Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) employee who works onsite at Pizza Hut’s headquarters in Plano, Texas.“
Read that again. Let it really sink in.
The Dairy Industry not only gives money to certain big chain restaurants, but they actually have employees on site developing more products that push 150 million gallons more of milk per year. Products are designed for the sole purpose of pushing an agenda for US Dairy Farmers, and that agenda is far from human health.
Following the money further, we look at Domino’s, and their financial partnership with the US dairy industry.
According to a 2018 press release from Dairy.org, because of their partnership, Domino’s “increased their cheese usage by over 1 BILLION milk equivalent pounds. That’s just shy of 20,000 tanker loads of milk that was off the market because of the Domino’s partnership.”
They aren’t selling billions more in pizzas. They are updating their menu items to use more cheese to push more milk. Once upon a time, you could order Domino’s Breadsticks and they didn’t come with melted cheese. Now, you can’t even get their breadsticks without melted cheese, and they are a completely different product.
They go on to say at Dairy.org, “in addition to menu development, Domino’s has also been a partner in sharing the story of dairy farmers through the Undeniably Dairy campaign. Last summer, Domino’s put the Undeniably Dairy logo on their pizza boxes across the country – reaching 7 million homes a week.”
As a business school grad that studied marketing, let’s really look at what is being done here.
Not only are they working hand-in-hand with the dairy industry to develop menu items pushing higher percentages of cheese usage on products (which is keeping America sick, but that’s another discussion for another day), they are also using marketing through their materials they use to distribute their products to psychologically get you to feel some allegiance to the “Hardworking US Dairy Farmer”. They even have language on their box boasting pizza isn’t pizza without tons of cheese. “How can it be anything else?” says the Domino’s box regarding dairy cheese.
Now, as someone who has eaten actual Italian pizza in Naples, Italy, pizza traditionally highlighted tomatoes and sauce more than copious amounts of cheese. And it’s delicious. It’s the agenda behind the marketing to make you believe you need the cheese to have a good pizza, and they are going so far to push that you should feel good about it because you are keeping people employed. Cheese is super addictive in nature, as milk was meant to encourage baby cows to latch on to their mothers, so it’s easy to give in to this message for the average consumer.
Meanwhile, billions of animals are being slaughtered, and many consumers are opting for the nut milks versus the cows milk. So doesn’t voting with our dollars help?
The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) recently released a statement that traditional milk sales plummeted by $1.1 billion in 2018, so where is all of this dairy money coming from now that consumers are voting with their dollars?
The answer is the United States Government.
According to an ABC news article in August 2018, the USDA stepped in to buy 50 million in surplus milk to bail out the dairy industry. Where does all this milk go?
According to the article, “The USDA is buying the milk under a program that allows the government to buy surplus food or agricultural products and redirect them to food banks or school-nutrition programs.”
So even when we are voting with our dollars that we do not want to consume milk, they repurpose the surplus to encourage milk consumption by our children in schools.
Isn’t the government supposed to reflect what it’s citizens want?
Let’s not even get into the money circulating between the government and the dairy industry. I encourage you all to watch What The Health on Netflix or YouTube. The doc really lays out all of the financial connections between restaurants, the medical community, the dairy industry, and the government. The Thrive Movement documentary will take it a step further for you to show you who really pulls those strings. (Spoiler Alert: it’s not Trump.)
The day the US government decides to stop bailing out the dairy industry is the day the dairy industry will stop having the ability to lobby and push more dairy, even though demand of milk is technically down. That’s the only presumable reason there’s a resistance of adding vegan cheese at some quick food establishments — it won’t be until they realize their profits can be gained back by the consumers when they do finally lose that US Dairy money. And the day is coming. 😘
There is so much more than our dietary preferences at stake. In many ways, our preferences are being taught at an early age to support corrupt industries.
To keep someone in the dark means to keep someone from being informed. I hope posting this information sheds some light that leads to major changes. We totally have the power to manifest our higher desires, Peace and Prosperity on Earth, and while it seems overwhelming when looking at Earth’s dark parts, we can’t fix what we don’t know about. ✌🏼💚🌱✨
Links to Sources:
Excerpt Clip from Thrive Movement “Follow the Money”: