The chain is launching a new Detroit-style pizza that discards the traditional round shape of a rectangular crust with cheese to the brim, which is popular in the city of Michigan. This is Pizza Hut’s second major product this month, as pizza wars from the pandemic era show several signs of slowdown.
Pizza Hut said it had tested more than 500 repetitions of the new menu item, several of which were in the Midwest before launching in the country on Tuesday. The chain used its special “tomato sauce ripened in the vine” because it was found to keep the thick skin light and airy.
The new offering comes in four variants, including “Detroit Double Pepperoni,” which Pizza Hut describes as a “work of pizza art” as it includes 80 slices of pepperoni. The other options are “Double Cheesy”, “Meaty Deluxe” and “Supremo”, which has Italian sausages, red onions and green peppers. Prices start at $ 10.99.
During the pandemic, competition between the big chains was fierce, fueling the growing demand for pizza from Americans who spend more time at home and avoid restaurants. Sales and revenue increased last year at Pizza Hut, Dominoes (DMPZF) and Pope John (PZZA) while consumers ruthlessly sip pizzas down their throats.
Peter Saleh, a restaurant analyst at research firm BTIG, expects last year’s growing sales to continue this year. “What we saw in 2020 was that a lot of these pizza delivery guys had a big boom in their sales because they had nowhere else to go,” he told CNN Business. Several states in the United States have restricted restaurant meals and introduced capacity controls because of the virus.
Saleh predicts that pizza sales will remain healthy in 2021, as “the dining environment remains challenging.”