“Our food innovation team is encouraged to experiment and create recipes that change the way America consumes pizza," said Wiley Bates III, executive chef for Pizza Hut, a division of Yum! Brands, Inc. "We didn't invent flatbread pizza, but Pizza Hut's Firebaked Style Flatbread Pizzas strike the perfect balance between a product that's hot given current food trends and one that delivers an eating experience that is perfect for our customers.”
Indeed, flatbreads are rolling out in more restaurants, including Chili’s Grill & Bar, whose May introduction of the platform includes margherita, chipotle chicken and California grilled chicken varieties. The Fazoli’s chain added Italian-style flatbreads this spring. The Pizza Hut flatbreads can be topped three different ways with up to three toppings each.
The hot category bubbles from the artisan pizza movement of recent years as well as a trend toward more casual dining, said Kara Nielsen, a trend researcher at San Francisco-based CCD Innovation.
“It’s a great shareable appetizer,” Nielsen said. “You can offer it both with a variety of vegetarian and savory meat toppings. And because it’s flatbread and not pizza, you can get really creative and make a flatbread that suits the brand, whether it’s a slightly more healthful one or a slightly more decadent one.”