SLIDESHOW: Pizza chains break out new items

by Rebekah Schouten
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KANSAS CITY — Perhaps consumers are burnt out on fall flavors and are looking for a pie other than pumpkin, because pizza innovation is popping up all over restaurant menus.

Pizza Hut created a comfort food combination: Grilled Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza. The pie features cheddar and mozzarella cheese stuffed into and baked onto the crust, which is topped with toasted breadcrumbs and melted butter.

“The Grilled Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza is the perfect combination of a classic grilled cheese and a traditional pizza,” said David Timm, chief marketing officer for Pizza Hut. “The result is a delicious, flavorful and indulgent pizza that packs the punch of a gooey, cheesy, crunchy grilled cheese.”

Papa John’s is pumping up its pizza portfolio with new Papa John’s Pan Pizza. The crust, made from never-frozen pan dough with no artificial preservatives, features only seven ingredients: flour, extra virgin olive oil, cold-filtered water, sugar, salt, yeast and oil. The crust is topped with tomato sauce made from California fresh-packed tomatoes, and the entire pie is baked in pan to produce a crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside texture.

“We’ve been working for a year and a half on this Pan Pizza to get it absolutely perfect for our pizza fans,” said Steve Ritchie, president and chief operating officer of Papa John’s. “We wanted this pie to follow our quality ingredient promise but with a unique edge. This brought us to create a new, fresh pan dough and sauce to give our customers more of what they want and love.”

Brussels sprouts are the stars of PizzaRev’s new seasonal pizza, the Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Pizza. The pie features locally sourced Brussels sprouts that are roasted and tossed in pure maple syrup. The pizza is also topped with olive oil, mozzarella with buffalo milk, bacon and a maple syrup drizzle.

“Brussels sprouts have had a bad rap in the past, but they’ve made a big comeback on menus across the country,” said Nicholas Eckerman, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of PizzaRev. “The leafy green vegetable is in peak harvest right now, making it the perfect centerpiece of our new seasonal pizza.”

Click for a slideshow of new menu items

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