Papa Johns has become the first global quick-service restaurant brand to put superfood hemp seeds on the menu, with the launch of its new limited-edition Hemp Sticks in two key markets. 

Now available in the UK and Russia, the launch marks Papa Johns’ first major product innovation of 2022, as it seeks to further strengthen its ‘Better Ingredients. Better Pizza’ commitment to food superiority, a key component in last year’s rebrand announcement.

Handmade using Papa Johns’ fresh never frozen, six ingredient dough, the Russian Hemp Sticks recipe uses Papa Johns’ special garlic sauce and a sprinkle of shelled hemp seeds, while the UK recipe swaps special garlic sauce for garlic butter sauce and also includes mozzarella.

In recent years, Gen Z and millennials have become the biggest purchasers of better-for-you foods, a trend which Papa Johns has responded to with its enhanced and award-winning plant-based, flexitarian and healthier choice menu options.

The new product launch is being supported via an integrated marketing campaign, in association with independent nutritionists and media personalities, to drive consumer trial of hemp seeds by debunking popular misconceptions.

This latest campaign is also underpinned by new Woodstock-inspired creative to highlight that hemp is high in plant protein, vitamins and other nutrients.

PR, social media and paid media promotion will be deployed in both launch markets.

PR will focus on demonstrating the euphoria of natural highs, executed as ‘highest’ food delivery stunts. The UK stunt stars TV daredevil turned plant-based chef, Matt Pritchard, abseiling down a cliff face to deliver the Hemp Sticks. In Russia, ‘roofer’ influencers, Angela Nikolau and Ivan Beerkus, will receive their delivery by drone, at the top of skyscraper.

Jo Blundell, VP of International Marketing at Papa Johns, says: With the launch of Hemp Sticks, Papa Johns has become the first global [quick-service] brand to make superfood hemp available to all. Premium, innovative ingredients are the very core of our pizzas, so Hemp Sticks will offer pizza fans a new way to enjoy our iconic breadsticks and help to dispel some of the misunderstanding surrounding this 100% legal, delicious seed.”

Menu Innovations, News, Papa Johns