PLANO, TEXAS — Pizza Hut has announced plans to remove artificial flavors and colors from its pizzas by the end of July. The chain, a business unit of Yum! Brands, Inc., has been working for more than a year with suppliers to reformulate its menu and eliminate many artificial additives that are common across the industry supply chain. The effort required continuous testing and redevelopment of products to preserve the flavors consumers expect from the brand while meeting demand for simple ingredients and transparency.
“Today’s consumer more than ever before wants to understand the ingredients that make up the foods that they enjoy,” said David Gibbs, chief executive officer of Pizza Hut. “As the world’s largest pizza company that has unrivaled heritage in quality and flavorful pizzas, it only made sense for us to lead the category in this area. We are committed to doing this the right way and to make the changes that ensure only the highest quality and greatest flavors in our food.”
Previously, Pizza Hut eliminated partially hydrogenated oils and MSG and has reduced the sodium in its pizzas. By the end of the year, 15% of Pizza Hut pizzas will have a third of the daily recommended dietary allowance for sodium, and 20% of its pizzas will meet the criteria by 2020.
The company said it does not use fillers in its meat toppings or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives in its meatballs. Pizza Hut sources Italian sausage from U.S. farmers and uses cheese made from 100% whole-milk mozzarella. Additionally, the company said it does not add sugar or oil to its pizza marinara sauce.
In addition to the ingredient changes, Pizza Hut will introduce an interactive nutrition calculator and allergen tool to its web site and mobile app in July. Earlier this year, the company introduced reduced-calorie pizzas and Udi’s Gluten Free crust.
“Our food journey took massive steps forward this past year with our Flavor of Now menu, and we will continue to work with our customers on this moving forward,” Mr. Gibbs said.The announcement follows a similar commitment from sister brand Taco Bell, which said it will remove artificial flavors and colors by the end of 2015 and artificial preservatives and additives by the end of 2017.