Flatbreads roll out at Pizza Hut

by Monica Watrous
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PLANO, TEXAS – Pizza Hut is the latest to latch on to the growing flatbread trend with its launch of Firebaked Style Flatbread Pizzas. With a slightly crispy wood-fired style crust and edge-to-edge toppings, the flatbreads come six to a box for $11.99.

"Our food innovation team is encouraged to experiment and create recipes that change the way America consumes pizza," said Wiley Bates III, executive chef for Pizza Hut, a division of Yum! Brands, Inc. "We didn't invent flatbread pizza, but Pizza Hut's Firebaked Style Flatbread Pizzas strike the perfect balance between a product that's hot given current food trends and one that delivers an eating experience that is perfect for our customers."

Indeed, flatbreads are rolling out in more restaurants, including Chili’s Grill & Bar, whose May introduction of the platform includes margherita, chipotle chicken and California grilled chicken varieties. The Fazoli’s chain added Italian-style flatbreads this spring.

The hot category bubbles from the artisan pizza movement of recent years as well as a trend toward more casual dining, said Kara Nielsen, a trend researcher at San Francisco-based CCD Innovation.

“It’s a great shareable appetizer,” Ms. Nielsen said. “You can offer it both with a variety of vegetarian and savory meat toppings. And because it’s flatbread and not pizza, you can get really creative and make a flatbread that suits the brand, whether it’s a slightly more healthful one or a slightly more decadent one.”
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