The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Soy Cheese Pizza at Domino’s Pizza® in Israel: A First for Major Pizza Chains

Posted on March 24, 2014 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

Domino’s® Pizza Israel debuted what it calls a vegan pizza in December
2013. After contacting Domino’s® American corporate office to find out
more information The VRG received a call from a Domino’s® employee
working in Holland followed by email contact with the Domino’s® Israel
VP of Marketing.

Ido Fridman at Domino’s® Pizza Israel replied to us by email about the
vegan menu option in January 2014. Here is that exchange.

Q: We’d like to know the ingredients in the pizza including the dough,
sauce and cheese.
A: I apologize in advance for that, but all the raw materials of our
products are presumed trade secrets and I cannot reveal them.

Q: If not, can you assure us that all of the ingredients in this pizza
are all non-animal including no eggs or dairy or ingredients derived
from them such as honey, whey, casein, gelatin, rennet, etc.?
A: I can assure you that all of the vegan pizzas at Domino’s® Pizza
Israel are non-animal…There are no ingredients derived from animals with
all that implies – period.
What is important to note is the work environment, such as the makeline
or stove, etc., where we make the pizzas is not vegan…We also have in
the store mozzarella cheese, meat, etc.

Q: Can you tell us if the cheese on the vegan pizza is soy-based?
A: Domino’s® maintains commercial confidentiality with regards to raw
materials, but I will deviate once and…[confirm] that the vegan cheese
is actually based on soy.

Q: Is it possible that the same utensils and cookware are used for the
non-vegan (including dairy-containing) ingredients including
dairy-containing doughs, sauces, etc.? Do you take any precautions to
avoid cross-contamination?
A: Operating procedures at Domino’s® Pizza Israel are very clear and
contain strict adherence to use separate tools such as a slicer (pizza
cutter), [when] using…vegan ingredients such as vegan cheese, etc.
As I mentioned preparation areas such as makeline or oven are common to
all types of pizzas. Finally I note that we do our best to avoid
mistakes but sometimes mistakes can happen. [At the] end of the day
these are people who prepare our pizzas and not machines. I will also
say that the issue of errors that may occur has been…[discussed] and
agreed upon in advance…[by] Domino’s® Pizza Israel and the Vegan
Friendly Israeli organization that was part of the process of developing
the new vegan pizza.

Q: How is the pizza selling there? Do you know if it will be a permanent
menu item?
A: I apologize in advance but I cannot discuss the results of sales of
vegan pizza or future plans of Domino’s® Pizza Israel.

Q: Are there any plans to offer the vegan pizza in other countries
including the US?
A: Don’t know…

The VRG also asked Fridman if the dough conditioner L-cysteine often
derived from duck feathers or human hair was used to make the dough of
the vegan pizza. We have not yet received a reply to this specific question.
In an attempt to get a reply, we asked an Israeli member of Vegan
Friendly to call Fridman.

The member reported to us by email that she had called Fridman to ask
specifically about the dough ingredients. She replied to us that she had
been told on the phone that the dough was “a vegan dough.”

Ingredient statements on the Domino’s® Israel website were not evident even after translation attempts were made. A brief description of the Domino’s® vegan pizza was seen on another Israeli website: “Comes with fresh dough without eggs or animal fat with soy cheese of ‘Nature Delhi'”

Readers may note that Domino’s® Pizza USA posts all of its ingredient
statements on its website. L-cysteine is listed on the Domino’s® USA website as an ingredient in three of its five crusts. The VRG was told in November 2013 by a senior
level employee at Domino’s® USA that “non-animal” L-cysteine is used in
those crusts (Source).

For more information on fast food and quick casual restaurant chains

Readers interested in learning more about Israeli vegan food initiatives
brought about by vegan activists including the one at Domino’s® Israel
led by Vegan Friendly may view the following links(VRG poll results
are cited in the first link.):

The contents of this article, our website, and our other publications,
including The Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal
medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified
health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient
information from company employees or company statements.Information
does change and mistakes are always possible. Please use your own best
judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. Further research
or confirmation may be warranted.

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