Beginning May 26, Papa John’s will become the first national pizza chain to add a 100 percent whole-wheat crust to its menu. The Whole Grains Council approved the crust with its official “100% Whole Grain Stamp.” Available at all 2,700+ Papa John’s restaurants in the U.S., one large slice of cheese pizza on the whole-wheat crust will contain fewer calories, two-and-a-half times the fiber, and less sodium when compared to one large slice of cheese on the original Papa John’s pizza crust.

According to a 2007 Pizza Marketplace survey of 450 pizzeria operators, only 7.7 percent of pizzerias offer whole-wheat crust, but it is growing in popularity.

“Our new 100 percent whole-wheat crust continues our commitment to use better ingredients to make what we believe to be a better pizza for our customers,” says John Schnatter, founder and chairman of Papa John’s.

Containing 40 grams of whole grains per serving—more than 80 percent of an entire day’s recommended whole grains intake—the Papa John’s whole-wheat crust will be delivered in a special pizza box featuring the official “100% Whole Grain Stamp” from the Whole Grains Council. The Whole Grains Council “100% Stamp” is used to recognize products that guarantee a full serving or more of whole grain and are made totally with whole grains.

According to the Whole Grains Council, 64 percent of Americans say they are trying to eat more whole grains. Studies have proven that whole grains provide a range of health benefits, including lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends eating six servings of grains a day, three or more of which should be whole grains. However, the majority of Americans are still consuming only one serving of whole grains each day.

“Consumption is now starting to rise as Americans discover a wide range of new whole grain choices that are quick and delicious,” says Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies, Oldways/The Whole Grains Council. “Our 100% Whole Grain Stamp makes it easy to find products like the new Papa John’s whole-wheat crust, and to see at a glance the amount of whole grains they contain.”

News, Pizza, Papa Johns