‘What if we took something people deeply love, and pair it with something that most eight year olds cherish?’
Enter pizza-style pigs in a blanket, officially called the Hot Dog Bites Pizza.
As of June 18, customers of the chain’s 6,300 U.S. restaurants will be able to dig into a pepperoni pizza with no less than 28 “premium hot dog bites” baked into the crust.
Pizza Hut had already experimented with hot dog crusts in Canada, debuting a pizza with an Angus beef hot dog stuffed crust way back in October 2012.
According to a company spokesperson, U.S. customers felt left out.
“Our U.S. fans have been asking for it ever since they saw it pop up around the world,” said Doug Terfehr.
Unlike the Canadian version, which featured a hot dog running lengthwise inside the crust, the new U.S. version will feature “hot dog bites” meant to be pulled off and dipped in mustard.
While the company has joined the growing list of chains vowing to remove artificial ingredients, it’s also not going to shy away from decidedly less healthy fare on its menu.
Who can forget the 3,000-calorie pizza with cheeseburgers baked into the crust? Introduced in the UK in September 2013 – after ‘roaring success’ in the Middle East – diners across the pond got their taste of the fast food hybrid, much to the dismay of British health officials.
The recent decision to add hot dog pizza to its menus in the U.S. is part of an on-going effort to boost sales. The chain saw its sales dip last year, while rivals such as Papa John’s and Domino’s rose.
As reported by Nation’s Restaurant News last month, company executives said their attempt to re-brand itself with a menu featuring lower calorie options and premium ingredients appeal to millennials wasn’t all that successful.
Greg Creed, CEO of Pizza Hut’s parent company Yum! Brands, Inc., said the company’s marketing wasn’t effective and they now need to “balance its appeal to millennials with mainstream pizza customers.”