Pizza Hut is going for less flash and more flavor.
The Yum Brands chain has built a reputation for attention-grabbing pie plays from the stuffed-crust pizza to the outlandish P'zone to last year's pizza with 16 cheese pockets. Naturally it was called the Crazy Cheesy Crust pizza.
But now, U.S. CMO Carrie Walsh is leading the chain into a more restrained and tasteful kind of innovation. Think less P'Zone, more garlic parmesan.
Ms. Walsh said Pizza Hut is responding to research that's found that consumers are increasingly seeking food perceived as higher quality and more gourmet with unconventional flavor combinations. The company started in January with its hand-tossed pizza, touted as having a "lighter, airier crust, cheese blended with five Italian flavors and now brushed with garlic-buttery goodness." It even included imperfections to give it an air of authenticity.