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NEW DOMINO'S PRODUCT ADDS TO ITS HOT STREAK;GARLIC CRUNCH VARIATION ARRIVES WITH $10 MIL IN AD SUPPORT

By Published on .

Domino's Pizza is serving up a second round of ads backing a flavored-crust product, with a national campaign for its new Garlic Crunch Crust variation.

The estimated $8 million to $10 million campaign is now airing in New York, Los Angeles and Detroit, but will break nationwide Dec. 1 on network and cable TV.

`WOW HOT NOW' RETURNS

The new campaign from Grey Advertising, New York, again uses the "Wow hot now" theme, which debuted last spring with the launch of Domino's first flavored-crust pizza, Roma Herb Crust.

Domino's has been the lone fast-food pizza outlet with strong growth this year, and one reason for its success has been the new products.

Domino's is able to offer innovations by efficiently using herb-flavored crusts instead of introducing costlier cheese-filled crusts, larger portions or additional toppings, said industry trackers.

"An herbed crust is much less costly to produce than a cheese-stuffed crust. Just compare the cost of herbs to the cost of cheese to get an idea of the magnitude," said Dennis Lombardi, exec VP at restaurant consultancy Technomic. "Herbs also have a longer shelf life, so there's less chance for waste."

8% GROWTH AT DOMINO'S

Domino's, No. 2 in the $20 billion take-out/restaurant pizza market, reports an 8% increase in year-to-date, systemwide gross sales to $2.8 billion. Domino's same-store sales, considered the best indicator of growth in fast-food, also are up 8%.

At its struggling rivals, No. 3 chain Little Caesars Pizza has predicted that systemwide sales for 1996 will match 1995's $1.8 billion. Last year's sales, however, were down 10% from '94.

PepsiCo's category leading Pizza Hut, unable to repeat its '95 new-product hit of Stuffed Crust Pizza, saw sales fall 5% to $2.6 billion through September.

Contributing: Bill McDowell.

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