Industry News | December 16, 2009

In Honor of 50th Anniversary, Domino's Reinvents Itself

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Domino's Pizza announced that it is changing its core pizza recipe. With a new garlic seasoned crust, robust sauce, and more flavorful shredded cheese, Domino's new hand-tossed pizza has been reinvented to deliver more taste, and Domino's is backing it up with a guarantee.

Rolling out over the course of the next few weeks, Domino's new pizza will be in all U.S. stores beginning December 27.

"2010 will be our 50th year in the business, and we are kicking it off with the most aggressive promotion in the history of our company," says Domino's chairman and CEO, David A. Brandon. "This is the biggest product introduction we've done since…well, pizza." The primary changes include: the crust, which is now a garlic seasoned crust with parsley baked to a golden brown; the sauce, which is a sweeter, bolder tomato sauce with a medley of herbs and a red pepper kick; and the cheese, which is made with 100 percent real mozzarella and flavored with a hint of provolone.

"The fact is, we love our pizza, but as times change, so do consumer tastes," says Russell Weiner, Domino's chief marketing officer. "We've created a pizza to reflect what consumers are looking for. We're not talking about a slightly altered version of our previous pizza. It's a completely new pizza reinvented from the crust up, and we are proud of it. To us, it's as big as McDonald's changing the Big Mac, or Burger King reinventing the Whopper. We spent the last 18 months reinventing the brand in anticipation of our 50th anniversary."

Weiner says that more than 80 percent of the Domino's menu is new since 2008. Added to the menu since that time: Oven Baked Sandwiches, available in eight varieties; Domino's American Legends, a line of premium specialty pizzas; Breadbowl Pasta, five varieties of pasta baked into a seasoned bread bowl; and Chocolate Lava Crunch Cakes, oven-baked chocolate cakes that are crunchy on the outside with warm liquid chocolate fudge inside.

"The cherry on the top of all this recent innovation is our newly inspired pizza," Weiner says. "Our inspiration came from the thousands of direct consumer feedback messages on several social media channels. Over a two-year period, we tested dozens of cheeses, 15 sauces, and nearly 50 crust seasoning blends and researched every possible combination with customers who order from us all the time and customers who haven't tried us in years. Our extensive research showed that the new pizza is significantly improved over our previous pizza."

Domino's Pizza will be marketing this new pizza aggressively in the next several weeks with advertising on many top-rated entertainment and sports programs, sampling opportunities throughout the country, and a strong Web-based presence, Weiner says.

A special introductory offer will offer two medium, two-topping pizzas for $5.99 each.

Advertising produced by creative agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky will include documentary-style anecdotes featuring real Domino's Pizza team members. The spots, filmed at Domino's World Resource Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will show how the company took on the challenge of changing the negative perceptions of some consumers nationwide.

"We've long been known for service," Weiner says. "With this new pizza we are convinced Domino's can be known for both quality and service. That's why we're introducing this new pizza with a guarantee: If you are not completely satisfied with your Domino's pizza experience, we will make it right or refund your money.

“The entire company has been involved in this," he says. "From our CEO to our franchisees; from our supply chain division to our supply partners; from our product development team to our marketers—everyone has had a hand in reinventing our pizza.