Pizza Hut 'radically reinventing' pizza

by Monica Watrous
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Pizza Hut has added 10 new crusts, six sauces and 11 new pizza recipes as part of a menu transformation.

 

PLANO, TEXAS — Customers soon will experience a “whole new Pizza Hut.” The chain is set to introduce a menu overhaul and other initiatives as part of what the company is calling a “redefinition” of the pizza category.

"We are radically reinventing the pizza category with a menu transformation that more than doubles our amount of ingredients and flavors, a world-class digital ordering experience and an entirely new look and feel to our brand, all the way down to our uniforms,” said David Gibbs, chief executive officer, Pizza Hut. "We couldn't feel better about the direction we're going and the long-term impact these changes will have on our business."

Dubbed the “Flavor of now,” Pizza Hut’s new menu features ten new crust flavors, including toasted asiago, salted pretzel, and curry; six sauces that include honey sriracha, buffalo, barbecue, and crushed tomato; and new toppings, such as salami and fresh spinach.

Among 11 new recipes are the 7-Alarm Fire, made with a sauce of crushed tomatoes, pepperoni, sliced banana peppers, Peruvian cherry peppers, sliced jalapeño peppers and fresh green peppers with a spicy red pepper flavored crust; and the Old Fashioned Meatbrawl, which has marinara sauce with meatballs, red onions and diced Roma tomatoes.

There’s also the Pretzel Piggy, which features garlic Parmesan sauce, smoked bacon, mushrooms and spinach on a salted pretzel crust edged with a balsamic drizzle. The Buffalo State of Mind pizza features a toasted cheddar crust topped with barbecue sauce, grilled chicken, smoked bacon and diced Roma tomatoes.

Pizza Hut also is introducing Skinny Slice Pizzas, which are made from a thinner version of the chain’s crust. Five recipes developed for the reduced-calorie pizzas include the Skinny Club, with garlic Parmesan sauce, smoked ham, diced Roma tomatoes and fresh spinach on a toasted asiago-flavored crust; and the Skinny Luau, with crushed tomato sauce, grilled chicken, slow-roasted ham, diced Roma tomatoes and fresh spinach.

The chain also unveiled a contemporized logo that will appear on new boxes and employee uniforms.

 

The brand evolution comes after two years of same-store sales declines at Pizza Hut in the United States. Parent company Yum! Brands, Inc. revealed plans for a “major turnaround” at the pizza chain during the company’s second-quarter earnings call with financial analysts.

“In fact, we intend to launch a number of major initiatives in the United States to reignite sales beginning in the fourth quarter,” said David Novak, chairman and c.e.o. of Yum! Brands, on July 17. “Our plan is to launch a major new advertising positioning along with innovations designed to better connect with millennials and separate us from the competition.”

Along with the efforts, a new leader prepares to take the helm. Mr. Gibbs, formerly president of Pizza Hut, U.S., was tapped for the c.e.o. position of Pizza Hut’s global business effective Jan. 1, 2015. He succeeds Scott Bergren, who is retiring at the end of the year.
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