Today’s story of viral misinformation comes courtesy of a Little Caesars restaurant inside a K-Mart in Griffith, Indiana.
USA Today reports that when customer Vincent Romero stopped to pick up pizza at the store, he saw a shopping cart full of DiGiorno frozen pizzas sitting right next to the front counter. A woman who appeared to be an employee was standing next to the cart. He took a short video of the occurrence and uploaded it to Twitter, where it drew worldwide attention, including from model Chrissy Teigen. Teigen retweeted the post while throwing a little shade at the chain, saying, “the only little caesars I wanna go to.”
As it turns out, the K-Mart store in which the Little Caesars is located had received some complaints about expiring DiGiorno pizzas, and had them removed from store shelves, according to People.
“On that day, K-Mart received a few complaints from customers about having purchased expired DiGiorno pizzas from that location, and because it was so close to closing time, the K-Mart manager directed his employee to temporarily store them in a cooler adjacent to the Little Caesars location for disposal in the morning.”
The Little Caesars representative who provided the above quote, Jill Proctor, also confirmed that “no DiGiorno pizzas were baked or served at this Little Caesars location.”
this can’t be happening right in front of me pic.twitter.com/9R7jwuUbB6
— vin???? (@vinandwesson) October 6, 2018
The incident provided Twitter with a viral belly laugh, with variations of the “It’s not delivery, it’s DiGiorno” advertising line popping up in many of the retweeted posts.
Even the official @LittleCaesars and @DiGiorno accounts got involved, trading good-natured barbs back and forth. DiGiorno stated that they were just as curious as everyone else as to what was going on, but that they were enjoying it. Little Caesars was a bit late to the party, not actually responding for two days, when its Twitter account said, “Apparently this store has a trade-in program.” Only eleven minutes later, DiGiorno responded with, “Two days to come up with that? Really?” and the feud was off to the races.
Little Caesars closed the loop later that day with a whimsical Twitter post acknowledging the “Great Pizza Mixup of 2018,” then thanked original poster Romero for setting the record straight, saying, “We sell only fresh, never frozen.”
Little Caesars was founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1959 by the late Mike Ilitch. The Ilitch family also owns the Detroit Tigers, The Detroit Red Wings, and a stadium construction company. The family has been instrumental in the revitalization of downtown Detroit since the late 1980s, according to the Detroit Chamber of Commerce.