Banza, the New York-headquartered maker of chickpea-based comfort foods, is rolling out frozen pizza at several national chain stores as part of a retail expansion strategy. Four Cheese, Margherita and Plain Crust pizzas will join its pasta products on shelves at Walmart beginning August 31.
Banza Pizza originally launched in October 2020 at Whole Foods Market, Wegmans and Target. The Walmart debut will follow expansion in Stop & Shop, Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway and Meijer, which helped increase its retail footprint to over 8,000 stores nationwide in under one year on the market. Pizza products are also now available on Thrive Market, Fresh Direct, Amazon and eatbanza.com, as part of the company’s growing e-commerce presence.
Banza’s chickpea-based crust is promoted as serving up 1.5 times the protein, 2 times the fiber and fewer net carbs and sodium than other traditional and “better-for-you” pizza crusts. Unlike cauliflower-based pizza crusts, which often feature cheese and eggs as ingredients, Banza’s crust is made of whole, plant-based ingredients like chickpeas, olive oil, yeast and oregano to deliver on the crispy crust and doughy center preferred by consumers.
The total “better-for-you” pizza category has grown 41% in the past two years, and further increases in volume sales are expected to continue.
“Our mission is to inspire people to eat more chickpeas and other beans because of their benefits to human health and the environment,” said Mike Tarullo, Banza’s chief operating officer. “This means making nutritious foods available everywhere people shop, and in every aisle of the store. We’re proud to have made a better-for-you pizza that delivers on the classic pizza experience people love, while helping people get more chickpeas into their diets.”
The latest USDA dietary guidelines recommend consumers eat chickpeas, beans and lentils one to three times per week. However, only 20% of consumers in the United States is doing so.
In addition to growing its retail presence, in June Banza announced its first restaurant partnership with Oath Pizza as a permanent menu offering. Its chickpea crust replaced the pizza chain’s previous gluten-free and cauliflower crusts.
With its chickpea products now available in over 18,000 stores nationwide, Banza is ranked as America’s fastest growing pasta brand.