Pizza Hut is introducing "Detroit-style" pizza across the US.
The new pie comes in four varieties and starts at $10.99.
Pizza chains have largely been winners in the pandemic that hurt the restaurant industry.
Typical of Detroit style, the pizzas are rectangular with a thick crust, cheese, and tomato sauce. Pizza Hut says it tested eight different versions of the sauce, which is available only on the new pies. The new menu item comes in four versions: Detroit Double Pepperoni, Double Cheesy, Meaty Deluxe, and Supremo, which comes with italian sausage and vegetables.
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The pizza chain spent a year developing the dish after requests from customers, it said in a press release, testing more than 500 variations before landing on the final version. Several were tested in the Midwest leading up to the nationwide release.
"Countless hours were spent testing and perfecting every detail here to create our take on Detroit-Style pizza," said David Graves, Pizza Hut's chief brand officer. Prices start at $10.99.
Pizza Hut has introduced several other new items in the past year to drive traffic during the pandemic. It re-launched its Large Original Stuffed Crust pizza across the US to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its stuffed crust. It also gave out free rings of stuffed crust to customers at select stores.
The chain jumped on other trends over the past year, too. In November, it announced a partnership with Beyond Meat to create a plant-based sausage pizza. And in December it launched the "Triple Treat Box" with breadsticks, pizza, and Cinnabon mini rolls.
The pandemic has hit the restaurant industry hard, but pizza sales have boomed. Yum Brands, which owns Pizza Hut along with Taco Bell and KFC, beat expectations with third quarter earnings in 2020 with $283 million in profits, compared to $255 million in the third quarter of 2019.
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