Ask anyone trying to lose weight what food they miss most, and they’ll likely say, “Pizza.” The calories and fat in most pizzas on the market preclude them from dieters’ plans, and low-calorie alternatives tend not to taste great. That personal struggle prompted Aryeh Hecht, founder and president of Vitalicious, New York, NY, to develop VitaPizza.
“I’ve had to fight weight and sugar and heart health all my life, and this is why I created Vitalicious in the first place,” Mr. Hecht said. “One of the things that I struggle with is that you really have to have a very strong will in order to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight without eating things that you love.”
For years, Vitalicious has provided consumers in a similar predicament with options such as VitaMuffins, VitaTops, VitaCakes and VitaBrownies. The latest addition to the lineup, VitaPizza slashes calories in half, cuts fat by 70% and adds vitamins, minerals and 76% of the recommended intake of dietary fiber, according to the company.
“I’m making the connection between what you love and what you have to have,” Mr. Hecht said. “The minute I close this gap, I give you a very powerful tool to help yourself to healthy nutrition and low-
calorie meals, which is what you need in order to maintain your health and weight.”
Made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, each VitaPizza contains 190 Cal, 8 g whole grains, 2.5 to 3 g fat with 1 to 1.5 g saturated fat, 19 g fiber, 16 g protein, 80% DV of vitamin A, 90 to 110% vitamin C, 36% calcium and 80 % iron — all on a 6-in. crust.
“Usually when you market a product, you have to invent features and benefits,” said Mr. Hecht, who comes from a marketing background. “In our case, the product really speaks for itself.”
Be that as it may, the product’s packaging packs a lot of information into a small space. Claiming to contain “the first delicious and nutrient-rich low-calorie pizza” and displaying the Whole Grains Council’s Whole Grain Stamp, the box also lists “all natural, low fat, high fiber, and 15 vitamins and minerals” among VitaPizza’s attributes.
At this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, NY, attendees were amazed to find out the calorie count in the pizzas after trying them because they tasted too good, according to Mr. Hecht, who pointed out that competing pizzas of this size can range from 300 to 800 Cal.
VitaPizzas are available in a classic Cheese and Tomato variety as well as a Meatless Pepperoni, whose meat analog is made with vital wheat gluten, whole wheat flour, and herbs and spices. “We didn’t want to go without cheese,” Mr. Hecht said. “In a way, for me, it was cheating.”
A 5.4-oz single-serve package with microwaveable tray retails for between $3.99 and $4.99 online and in stores throughout the Northeastern US, with nationwide distribution to come soon.
“We took Enemy No. 1 of every person on a diet, which is the pizza, and turned it into his best friend in helping him to work through the challenges of eating healthy and losing weight,” Mr. Hecht said. He hinted at about 100 other ideas in the works, 20 of which are on the front burner. “I want to Vitalicialize the world, one product at a time.”