Pizza Hut to deliver on gluten-free demand
by Jeff Gelski
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PLANO, Texas – Pizza Hut, a Yum! Brands business unit, plans to offer gluten-free pizzas, available as cheese-only or pepperoni, starting Jan. 26 at select restaurants nationwide. Udi’s Gluten Free will provide the crust. The Gluten Intolerance Group, Auburn, Wash., was instrumental in the in-store training process.
Pricing for the 10-inch pizzas will start at $9.99.
“We partnered with the most-respected names in the gluten-free community to develop a best-in-class pizza for those looking to limit gluten in their diet,” said David Gibbs, global chief executive officer for Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. “Our gluten-free pizza has all the flavor America has come to expect from a Pizza Hut pizza, which is why we are thrilled to add this great pizza to our lineup.”
The gluten-free crust will be kept in a designated gluten-free kit inside each restaurant, as will the cheese, marinara sauce and pepperoni. All Pizza Hut workers preparing the gluten-free pizzas will wear gloves, bake the pizza on parchment paper and use a designated gluten-free pizza cutter. The pizzas will be placed in pizza boxes featuring the Udi’s gluten-free crust for delivery.
“This is a great day for the gluten-free consumer,” said Stephen Hughes, CEO of Boulder Brands, based in Boulder, Colo., and the parent company of Udi’s. “We’re teaming up with Pizza Hut and GIG to ensure the needs of this community are well-represented so they can enjoy the simple pleasure of ordering a pizza.”
All Udi’s products contain less than 10 parts per million of gluten. According to the Food and Drug Administration, gluten-free foods must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.
Ingredients in the gluten-free pizza crust at Pizza Hut are water, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, canola oil, egg whites, dried cane syrup, tapioca syrup, tapioca maltodextrin, salt, xanthan gum, yeast, cultured corn syrup solids and citric acid (mold inhibitor), enzymes.
Consumers may find which restaurants are offering the cheese-only and pepperoni gluten-free pizzas by visiting www.pizzahut.com/glutenfree and entering a zip code or address. Because Pizza Hut kitchens are not gluten-free environments, customers should consult their medical advisor to find out what is safe, according to Pizza Hut.
For customers wanting simply to limit their gluten, Pizza Hut will offer pizza prepared on the Udi’s gluten-free crust topped with select ingredients. Marinara sauce is the only base included. Meatballs, sauce drizzles and crust flavors are excluded. “Create Your Own” pizza options are not certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group.