Sbarro introduces 'skinny' pizza, plans freestanding units

Jan. 10, 2013 | by Alicia Kelso

Sbarro has introduced a new, 270-calorie "Skinny Slice" offering. The trademarked Skinny Slice features roasted red and green bell peppers, Portobello mushrooms and caramelized onions, and is topped with mozzarella and pecorino Romano cheeses.

"Today, you can find great food options when you're craving pizza like the new Sbarro Skinny Slice that's only 270 calories per slice and topped with better-for-you ingredients," said Jim Greco, CEO of Sbarro. "We created the Skinny Slice as a delicious menu option for our guests looking for a great meal or snack that is both low in calories and satisfies that fix for pizza done the Sbarro way."

The Skinny Slice is now available at Sbarro units nationwide. The company has been hinting at the launch on its social media channels all week, posting the number "270" repeatedly and asking customers to guess its relevance.

Ahead of the launch, Sbarro commissioned a survey with Kelton Research that found most Americans would rather give up Facebook and Twitter for an entire year than give up pizza. Of the 1,000 individuals surveyed, 39 percent expressed difficulty giving up pizza and other favorite foods such as french fries, compared to 25 percent for social media platforms such as Facebook.

The Skinny Slice is the latest in a handful of new launches for Sbarro. In December, it introduced a limited-time white pizza. In October, the brand revamped its signature recipe entirely as part of a turnaround strategy put into place by Greco, who took over in February 2012.

Branching out of the shopping mall space

Beyond the kitchen, that turnaround strategy also includes the development of new store models. Greco told Dow Jones this week that Sbarro will open 10 standalone locations this year — a departure from its signature, ubiquitous shopping mall and airport footprint.

Currently, about 70 of Sbarro's 620 U.S. locations are standalones.

In May, Greco told that he wanted Sbarro to be the "preeminent Italian fast casual brand worldwide." 

Read more about food and beverage promotions and operations management.

Topics: Food & Beverage , Franchising & Growth , Health & Nutrition , Operations Management , Pizza Toppings

Alicia Kelso / Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with, and has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, and Franchise Asia magazine.
View Alicia Kelso's profile on LinkedIn

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