Never one to shy away from
ruining reinventing their pizza dough, Pizza Hut locations in the UK recently debuted the Cheeseburger Pizza Crust, a pizza with ten miniature cheese-topped beef patties that are embedded into the crust around the circumference of the pie. The damage? £17.95 (approximately $29 USD) for a large and approximately 3,000 calories (depending on which toppings you choose).
While most of the local press is focusing on the health implications of the pizza, specifically because Pizza Hut signed the Health Department's "Responsibility Deal"—a public health initiative that, among other goals, aims to help food and drink companies "reformulate their products to improve their nutritional content"—that's not what we find so terrible about it. High calorie foods can be worth it if they're awesome, but this pizza is not.
Here's how we know: the Cheeseburger Pizza Crust is nothing new. It's not even new to Pizza Hut. This pizza is practically a carbon copy of the Cheeseburger Crown Crust Pizza that debuted last April at Pizza Hut locations in the Middle East and was panned as a "mutant pizza" in a review on Slice.
The marketing of the Cheeseburger Pizza Crust, particularly the line "all the fun without the bun" is also a little suspect. The math just doesn't add up. Buns are an integral part of a burger's "fun level" (however you measure it), so to me, that marketing claim is a bit like saying "all the fun of pizza without the sauce"...which I'd estimate at approximate 66 percent, so not exactly something to brag about. Burgers need buns. Burgers without buns are therefore less fun/tasty/good.
Another thing: what is the deal with the beef? There's no way those "100% British Beef Burgers" aren't either pre-cooked (and then cooked again) or cooked frozen. Either way: yuck.
I can't help but see this type of food innovation as a blatant publicity grab, with little attention paid to the development of the actual food. Ultimately, these promotions devalue the brand itself, especially once negative reviews of the pizza (including photos of what it actually looks like) start showing up on food blogs, like this one and this one.
What do you think?
About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax