A New Zealand pizza chain has revealed it sold thousands of meat-free 'burger pizzas' - without revealing they were meat-free.
Hell Pizza launched its latest offering last week, topped with what was described as a 'medium-rare burger patty'.
After selling around 3,000 pizzas, it confirmed yesterday that the burger patty was made by Beyond Meat - a US producer of plant-based meat substitutes.
The company says it chose to not reveal the meat-free nature of the pizza in a bid to highlight sustainable food choices.
Ben Cumming, general manager of Hell, explained: "A lot of people are instantly put off by the idea of fake meats, so we made the call to not reveal its meat-free origins because we were so confident people would enjoy it."
The chain added that it's happy to "covertly" add meat-free options onto a pizza if it "encourages more people to be open-minded".
They also cited on online survey they carried out, in which 80% of people said they were 'pleasantly surprised or unfazed' to find out the pizza was plant-based.
More than 70% say they would buy it again, while 70% said the patty tasted just like meat.
While the campaign was welcomed by many commentators on social media, others raised concerns that the original description was potentially misleading.
A number of other Facebook users suggested the pizza should have been fully vegan - since it contains smoked cheddar and honey mustard, it is only classed as vegetarian.
With Hell Pizza insisting their campaign wasn't misleading, one lawyer told news website Stuff that there was a risk the chain was in breach of New Zealand legislation protecting consumers from being misled.
Rae Nield argued: "What does a reasonable consumer expect if it says 'burger' and there's no qualifier – it doesn't say 'veggie' or 'meat-free'.
"A reasonable consumer is going to think that means meat."
However, the Consumer NZ group suggested the pizza chain was safe as it did not reference meat in the product description.
Future customers will know exactly what they're getting, however, as the pizza description has been updated to read "loaded with chunks of medium-rare Beyond Meat Burger Patty".