LOUISVILLE, KY. — Offering convenient and portable products and competing in different eating occasions are two ways executives of Pizza Hut expect to attract more younger consumers.
“It’s not a secret that Pizza Hut historically has been more popular with older people than with younger people,” said Aaron M. Powell, chief executive officer of Pizza Hut, at a Dec. 13 investors day for Yum! Brands, Inc., the parent company of Pizza Hut.
He gave the handheld Pizza Hut Melt launched in October as an example of appealing to younger consumers.
“It really explains not only the individual-use occasion but everything we’re doing across our business to be younger and more every day,” he said. “It’s intentionally designed for young people to like it. Value is very important — $6.99. We are competing with everybody. Our people are not looking at other pizza competition.”
Pizza Hut no longer may focus mostly on special occasion pizzas, like those for families on the weekend.
“We still want that, but every day means for us to really compete in different occasions than before,” Mr. Powell said.
Pizza Hut will execute three strategies in the United States in 2023.
“One: open kitchen, show the consumer their food, show the fresh product right in front of them, gives a great impression and a great consumer experience,” Mr. Powell said. “No. 2, a lot of technology coming in. An example here, we have digital takeaway cabinets being tested in Mexico. That’s just one example of us bringing in the right type of technology.”
No. 3 is lower capital costs, which may come through pizza delivery.
“Delivery-focused assets are optimized for takeout delivery,” he said. “They are better paybacks, lower capital costs. You’ll see that the US system of 6,500 restaurants are transforming, are already becoming more and more delivery-focused assets.”
Eighty percent of the Pizza Hut business is not dine-in, he said.