Vancouver, Washington–based Papa Murphy’s is hoping to help kids learn about cooking and nutrition with its new Mini Murph offering.
Mini Murphs are child-sized pizza-making kits that are similar to the chain’s other take-and-bake products, except assembled at home. Parents simply need to pick up a base and toppings at a Papa Murphy’s store.
The company rolled out the Mini Murph program in February to its more than 1,200 units.
Ken Calwell, CEO of Papa Murphy’s, says the company hopes parents will use the Mini Murph opportunity to spend time with their kids and help teach them about the individual ingredients that go into their food.
“There’s the pride of the creative process versus going through a pickup window,” he says. “This naturally brings the family together. It’s important to teach kids about healthy eating, as well as about the decisions that you make and appropriate portion sizes.”
Bringing kids into the kitchen, he adds, ties into the bigger picture of childhood obesity problems because it “helps start an awareness of nutrition.”
Christen Cooper, founder of Cooper Nutrition in Pleasantville, New York, says teaching kids how to cook is indeed a good way to help combat obesity.
“Research shows that hands-on experiences with food, including preparing and cooking it, are great ways to get kids comfortable in the kitchen and willing to try new, healthy foods,” she says.
Calwell says the Mini Murph program should be popular for everyday eating, but also for events like birthday parties, when a group of children can decorate their dinner together.
This makes the Mini Murph an extension of Papa Murphy’s positioning, he says, because the chain’s pizza is well known as a party offering. It also aligns with the company’s other creative products, such as its Valentine’s Day HeartBaker pizza.
Promotions for the Mini Murph program, which focus on a Mini Murph character, launched in March. Stores feature signs at children’s level that invites them to be a pizza chef.
By Amanda Baltazar