Although Pizza Hut is not the first restaurant to offer bar-b-que pizza on the menu, the country’s largest pizza chain is the first to work with a country music star to develop their recipes. The ad campaign for the Blake Shelton inspired pies began earlier this month. A self proclaimed connoisseur of both pizza and bar-b-que, Shelton played an important role in the development of the three new Pizza Hut additions: Blake’s Smokehouse BBQ, Hawaiian BBQ, and Honey BBQ Chicken. In an interview with People, Shelton admitted that bar-b-que pizza is “literally my heaven.” All three of his creations also feature a cheddar hand tossed crust. The pizzas sell for $11 each for a large and are only available for a limited time, according to the Pizza Hut website.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, this is Pizza Hut’s largest launch since the three cheese stuffed crust, which was last year’s biggest roll out. The timing of a new product with a lot of ad time is likely no coincidence, considering that the company has experienced a significant decline in sales compared with last year. The company is surely hoping that adding flavor combination that Americans are already craving with some star power, they will see profits.
This is not the first time Pizza Hut has gone in a new direction with hopes to boost sales. The stuffed crust pizza, pasta dishes, and chicken wings are all items added to the menu with hopes to appeal to customer’s broader tastes. With an increasing number of products available at their fingertips due to technology, consumers are fickle and easily persuaded to to try new things. Hopefully this new line of pizzas will remind customers why Pizza Hut has been one of the top pizza chains for decades. Founded in Kansas in 1958, the company became a bit of an American institution, the buildings’ iconic red roofs signaling to travelers just as McDonald’s golden arches do. They have also been a sponsor of the Book It! reading incentive program for children since 1984. Students who read books according to the goal set by the classroom teacher are rewarded with a Pizza Hut certificate good for one free, one-topping personal pan pizza.
While Americans’ opinions of what makes a good bar-b-que sauce can vary depending on what part of the country you’re in, Pizza Hut is confident they’ve got it right. Let’s hope they’re right and the company can stick around to offer us more delicious flavor combinations in the future!