September pizza product news was headlined by Domino's new pan pizza. The company called the rollout its biggest product launch in three years while taking direct aim at some of Pizza Hut's market share.
The pizza went through three years of development and features fresh, never frozen dough, hand-stretched into the pan, resulting in a crispier, golden crust with a buttery taste. The new pizza also features two layers of cheese and toppings to the edge.
Additionally during the month, three concepts – California Pizza Kitchen, Boston's Pizza and Boombozz Pizza & Taphouse – introduced new menus with everything from quinoa + arugula salad to S'more dessert pizza.
California Pizza Kitchen's "New Adventures" menu includes five globally-inspired options with an emphasis on flavor and lower-calorie counts. The new dishes include: Quinoa + Arugula Salad, Fire-Roasted Chile Relleno, Shrimp Scampi Zucchini Fettuccine, Grilled Chicken Chimichurri and Cedar Plank Salmon.
Louisville, Ky.-based Boombozz Pizza & Taphouse launched a variety of new items, including Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta, Hummus & Flatbread, Mediterranean Platter, Soft Pretzels, BLT Wedge Salad, En Fuego penne pasta dish and the Caprese Flat.
Canada's Boston Pizza International Inc. has introduced a renewed menu featuring 26 new dishes. The menu, which debuted last week at all 340 locations, includes Pulled Pork Pizza, The Meatball Grinder Sandwich, Chipotle Chicken Club, a Calamari appetizer, Pizza Spring Rolls, S'mores Pizza, The Panookie Cookie Dessert and more.
Boston Pizza also announced a new partnership with Starbucks. Participating restaurants in British Columbia, Northern Alberta, Quebec and Atlantic Canada will offer Starbucks Blonde Roast, a new light roast coffee, in addition to decaffeinated medium roast coffee and Tazo premium teas with the rest of the country coming on board in 2013.
Speaking of coffee, Pizza Ranch introduced a new coffee program and partnership with Ethiopia Reads and the Tesfa Foundation. For every pound of roasted coffee it brews, Pizza Ranch will donate 50 cents to Ethiopia Reads for its Kembata-Tembaro Literacy Initiative.
Other menu highlights from September include:
Pizza Hut spent the month promoting its new Big Dinner Box for football season. The item includes two medium rectangular one-topping pizzas, five breadsticks with marinara dipping sauce, and the choice of four Stuffed Pizza Rollers, one pan of Tuscani Pasta or eight wings for $19.99.
Papa John's recently introduced a Meatball and Pepperoni pizza, which includes four cheeses and Italian herb seasoning.
Pizza Patrón embraced its Latin roots with the new Choriquezo Pizza, featuring smoky chorizo sausage, sliced onions and the brand's original spicy ranch. Every Choriquezo pizza comes with a free side of Jalapeños.
Through Nov. 25, Pizza Inn will feature a garlic bread crust pizza. The item's deep dish pan crust is seasoned with Italian garlic and herb butter. Pizza Inn Chef Andy Wittman spent the past year creating the recipe.
Tulsa, Okla.-based Mazzio's Italian Eatery has added Garlic Knots and two new specialty MasterPizzas to its menu, including The Islander and the Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken pizza. In addition, Mazzio's gluten-free pizza has been added to the menu permanently and is available for delivery.
Giordano's announced its celebrity partnership with actress/author Jenny McCarthy by launching a signature dessert – a stuffed apple pie called "Jenny's Fave" – to support her autism awareness charity, Generation Rescue.
Pie Five Pizza Co. debuted its breakfast menu at a new unit located on the University of Texas at Arlington campus. Breakfast pies include the Baja pie topped with scrambled eggs, pulled-pork, chorizo, diced tomatoes and two-pepper medley and the Wake-Up Call pie featuring scrambled eggs, chorizo, jalapeños, peppers, Mozzarella and Cheddar cheeses.
See some of September's menu rollouts here.
Read more about food and beverage launches.
Alicia Kelso has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.