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PLANO, Texas -- Pizza Hut is taking aim at value with the introduction of its $10 Dinner Box.
Kurt Kane, chief marketing officer for the pizza chain, said the $10 Dinner Box plays off Pizza Hut's 2011 "Big Dinner Box" promotion, according to Nation's Restaurant News. The limited-time offer includes one medium rectangular one-topping pizza, five breadsticks with marinara dipping sauce, and 10 cinnamon sticks with icing.
"We had huge success with what we called our 'Big Dinner Box' that we put on the market in December, which was at a $19.99 price point. It had two medium pizzas, eight wings and breadsticks inside," Kane told the news outlet. "What we challenged ourselves with is: 'Can we give consumers even more value than that?' We wanted to give the smaller group great value as well."
The $10 Dinner Box, which would cost $16 if the items were purchased separately, debuted in "digital soft-sell" this past weekend, according to NRN.
"This uniquely positions us vs. our competitors," Kane said. "Historically, where people have defined value has been around trying to provide the lowest price on a single pizza and fighting it out on the price point. What we are trying to do is change the nature of that discussion and really turn it into a value conversation around what you get for what you pay."
The new deal comes at a time when consumers, who responded well to the Big Dinner Box promo late last year, have redefined their view of value.
"The recession has changed people's perceptions and expectations for value significantly," Kane said. "I don't know that it will ever change back."
He did not say when the $10 Dinner Box limited-time offer will end; however, the company is "excited about it, so consumers are likely to see it out there for quite some time," he noted.
Shining a spotlight on value has become a common theme among pizza restaurant chains. According to a new Mintel report, released today, pizza restaurants are focusing on value to attract customers and remain competitive. This value focus is expected to result in a 2.9-percent sales increase this year.
"The competitive nature of the pizza industry keeps the leading companies on their toes," explained Eric Giandelone, foodservice director at Mintel. "Menu innovation, thoughtful pricing and national promotions aimed at value have been driving sales in the past several years and are expected to continue in the future."
In order to remain competitive, the average pizza price has remained fairly flat (up only 1 percent) in the past three years. Restaurants have been making up for it by increasing the price of other menu items, such as vegetables (up 13 percent), desserts (up 12 percent), pasta (up 11 percent) and salad (up 10 percent), the report indicated
. Furthermore, Mintel found that a convenient location, price, speed of service and pizza variety are the four most important factors in determining the choice of a particular pizza restaurant, each with more than 80-percent agreement among Mintel respondents who have gotten pizza from a restaurant in the past month. However, having ready-made pizza and/or a pizza buffet is enticing, especially to lower-income patrons and those with children, likely for the added-value proposition.