UPDATE: NOVEMBER 11, 2013: Wichita, Kansas is now a test market for rolling out the whole wheat pizza crust to their standard menu. Available for testing only in Wichita, the wheat crust option is $1 more, “due to the premium cost on the dough,” said Kym Money, director of marketing for Fugate Enterprises. She expanded, letting us know, “This is the same crust type that we use on our School Lunch pizzas, but topped with our regular toppings. It is very good, and I am hopeful it will be a successful test.”
Pizza Hut is known for its inventive approaches to the delivery pie, but few have been as impressive as their latest innovation. Pizza Hut has never been healthier, a requirement to let them keep up with the newly mandated school lunch nutrition guidelines. The brand expressed their excitement to us about being able to recreate its world-famous pizza in a way that kids could enjoy this Americanized comfort food.
“It’s a healthier option,” says Rachel Huber, MPH, RD, senior nutritionist for the Dallas-based Pizza Hut. While pizza could never be defined as a health food, Pizza Hut has made remarkable strides to make it a better part of a child’s school-day diet.
Stores facilitating the pizza for school lunch programs now have two sets of ingredients – one for the public and one for the public schools. In order for any school lunch program to receive its federal reimbursements they must meet new nutrition guidelines that took effect for the 2012-2013 school year. Pizza Hut didn’t want to miss the huge sales opportunity that is placement in these hungry cafeterias, so they made a better pizza.
A slice of the whole wheat cheese pizza has 270 calories and 8 grams of fat. The pizza beats the school lunch guideline expectations, with 26% of the calories coming from fat – the guideline is at or less than 30%. The slice of cheese also has three grams of fiber, attributed to the 51% whole wheat crust. Pizza Hut did not share the nutrition information for the other options – sausage, pepperoni, and veggie.
To make it, they went back to the drawing board, but not square one. (more…)