Is it possible to indulge in your favorite fast foods by managing portion intake? Pizza Hut is toying around with this concept by introducing “Skinny Slices.”
Pizza Hut spokesperson Doug Terfehr explains that the ingredients aren’t changing — the company is just making slices that are “lighter on the toppings.” So the ingredients in the pizza haven’t been modified to be healthier — they’ve just decreased the amount of toppings per serving. Fans of the classic crust can breath a sigh of relief, because the dough will still be the same. It’s difficult to say whether consumers will embrace this strategy. After all, hungry pizza eaters might end up just eating more of these Skinny Slices to satisfy their cravings.
Let’s take a look at how many calories are packed into an average slice from a medium Pan Pizza. According to the nutritional information on Pizza Hut’s official website, regular pan pizza slices contain between 240 – 320 calories per serving, depending on your topping combination. The Associated Press reports that Skinny Slices, which have only debuted in two cities so far, will come with either 300 calories or less or 250 calories or less.
How do the Skinny Slices compare to normal slices provided by Pizza Hut competitors? Well, single slices of the Pepperoni Handmade Pan Pizza at Dominos clock in at 300 calories, similar to Pizza Hut’s normal fare. However, the normal pizza offerings at Papa John’s have markedly fewer calories per medium pizza slice, ranging between 210 and 290 calories. You might be able to have similar caloric intake experiences between Pizza Hut’s Skinny Slices and Papa John’s normal slices.
When it comes to cost efficiency, there have been critiques of the new Skinny Slices. The Motley Fool points out that customers are actually paying the same price for less pizza, since Pizza Hut is charging the same price for its traditional slices and its Skinny Slices. This hardly seems fair for customers in Toledo, Ohio, and West Palm Beach, Florida — the first test markets for the Skinny Slices.
Many speculate that Pizza Hut is attempting to catch health-conscious eaters with these new offerings due to sinking market shares. Both Papa John’s and Dominos have been riding high on sales increases, while Pizza Hut lagged behind with a sales slump. Only time will tell whether the Skinny Slices will captivate health-conscious eaters. Ultimately, we have to wonder whether or not Pizza Hut’s loyal customers are really concerned with counting calories, pie value, or taste.