Industry News | November 8, 2013 | QSR Exclusive Brief

For Toppers, Creativity is Key in New Pizza Development

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Toppers Pizza is demonstrating its “irrational love of pizza” with three new house pizzas, which it launched November 4: Three Little Pigs, the Loaded Tot-zza, and El Cubano.

Scott Iversen, vice president of marketing for Toppers, says the brand's creativity and willingness to think outside the box will help drive the new pizzas.

“Customers are telling us how much they love the new flavor combinations,” he says. “Something that we are known for are these unique, old flavor profiles. We're willing to put some unusual things together on a pizza that maybe customers hadn't thought of that turn out to be pretty darn good.”

The Loaded Tot-zza pizza includes ranch sauce, Mozzarella cheese, tater tots, bacon, green onions, and nacho cheese. “If I had to make a prediction, the Loaded Tot-zza is probably the one that is getting a little bit more comments because it is so unique,” Iversen says. “I don't know of anybody else out there putting tater tots on pizza.”

Iversen says the El Cubano pizza was highly anticipated by consumers. The pizza, which draws its inspiration from the more traditional Cuban sandwich, includes bacon honey mustard sauce, Mozzarella cheese, pulled pork, Canadian bacon, fried onion, and diced dill pickles.

The third Toppers creation, the Three Little Pigs pizza, is topped with barbecue sauce, pulled pork, bacon, Canadian bacon, and Mozzarella cheese, and is coated with green and fried onions.

“I would have to say [my favorite is] probably the three little pigs pizza, because I just love the pulled pork product that we're putting on it,” Iversen says. “I'm a big barbecue fan, and if you're a barbecue lover, it's an awesome pizza.”

To compliment the brand's wide variety of pizzas, Toppers is also offering an array of new Dippin' Sauces. “A big thing that we really are excited about is the addition of Dippin' Sauce choices with every pizza,” Iversen says. “We've got 14 different varieties of uniquely flavored Dippin' Sauce that people can dip the edge of their crust in. It really sets us apart from what other big chains are doing.”

Along with the release of the new flavor profiles comes a new Toppers menu design. Iversen says the new, sleek design highlights the brand's flavor profiles and signature Topperstix products.

“The design has changed quite a bit to give more prominence to the things that make Toppers different,” he says. “The menu is redesigned to really showcase those two product categories in a better way than maybe we had done in the past.”

As part of Toppers' commitment to innovation in the pizza industry, Iversen says, the brand is continuing to develop creative pizza-related dishes. He even hints at the possibility of chocolate- and bacon-flavored Topperstix coming to stores in the spring. He adds that the brand's goal is to always surprise guests with unheard-of flavors.

By Marlee Murphy