When it comes to menu launches, October was a sweet one for many pizza concepts, as dessert innovations took over the spotlight.
For starters, Papa John's launched a new family-sized chocolate chip cookie, cut into eight slices and served warm.
Pie Five Pizza's chef Andy Wittman debuted the Pumpkin Patch Pie, calling the creation a blend of cake and cookie. The dessert features pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, and is available through Dec. 1.
The Detroit Style Pizza Co. recently unveiled its new "Sweet Temptations" dessert breadsticks, available in original and cinnamon.
Six Cinnarollies are part of Mazzio's Italian Eatery's new Trio Box, joining six Pepperollies and an extra-large pizza.
And, finally, as part of Mellow Mushroom's new Bootleg Bacon Fest menu, available through Nov. 23, the Family Feud was unveiled. It features smashed Oreo cookies, vanilla bean mousse and bananas, all topped with chocolate sauce.
First and second courses
Of course, pizzerias have to focus on their signatures as well, and there was no shortage of new news in October.
Also as part of Mellow Mushroom's new menu, the brand is now offering Don't Mind if I Dip, with Italian sausage; Wake-n-Bacon, a pizza with asparagus and Applewood smoked bacon and a mushroom trio; Bubba's Bacon Bonanza, with bacon, ham and pulled pork; The BLT Buckle, a BLT-style pizza; and the Doublewide Cuban-style sandwich. There are also two new additions to the beverage menu: the Red Bourbon Barrel and the Call Me Pumpkin.
Meanwhile, Pizza Ranch's menu now features a Bold & Beefy Steak and Onion Pizza and a Mediterranean Salad.
California's Fresh Brothers picked up its marketing messaging for its new Meatball Slider, served on a King's Hawaiian Sweet Roll.
Hungry Howie's Pizza featured a Garlic Sesame crust throughout October.
Papa Murphy's brought back its Jack-o-Lantern Pizza for Halloween, topped with cheese and pepperoni slices arranged to resemble a Jack-o-Lantern's face
Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen added the Jalapeño Ranch Chicken Stromboli and stuffed cheesy bread at stores nationwide.
And, perhaps the biggest news from October came from the largest pizza chain in the country adding its first permanent menu item for the first time since 1995. Pizza Hut's 3-Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza includes white cheddar, mozzarella and provolone cheeses.
Check out some of October's rollouts here.
Read more about food and beverage introductions.
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.