ST. LOUIS—Eleven-unit Pizza World chain is spending $10,000 on research, fliers and window ads to develop and promote a modified, high-fiber, reduced carbohydrate pizza dough.
According to the St. Louis Business Journal, Eric Wortham, chairman of Collinsville-based Pizza World USA Franchise Corp., will begin selling low-carb pies this week in one unit, before rolling them out next week in the chain's remaining units in Missouri and Illinois.
"For people on low-carb diets, pizza has been out of the question," Wortham said. "We're giving customers what they want. If it's successful, I'm sure the big boys won't be far behind."
Wortham believes his company is the area's first to offer low-carb options. The report contained no nutritional data on the new dough.
The fact that multiple surveys estimate between 20 million and 32 million Americans are on some kind of low-carb, high-protein diet, led Wortham to develop the new dough. But he also believes the carb-craze will quiet down some before year's end.
To answer calls for low-carb options, many operators are pushing thin-crust pizzas, which have about a third fewer carbs than typical thick crust pies. Others are selling crustless pizzas made from sauce, cheese and toppings baked in a pan and eaten with a fork.
In the middle is Donatos Pizzeria, which introduced a NoDough Pizza in January, which uses soy crumbles as its base. Like crustless pizzas, it also is eaten with a fork.