Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Domino’s Pizza is now selling handmade pan pizza. The move comes nearly two years after the success of its revamped pizza recipe and at a time when the $36-billion U.S. restaurant pizza industry is finally growing. The industry was hit hard by the economic downturn, as well as by the growth of frozen, rising-crust pizza sales, but has expanded in the past two years.
Among the big chains, Pizza Hut practically owns the pan pizza market, which accounts for a fat slice of its business. But consumers like pan pizza, which is similar to deep dish, but not typically as lavish. So Domino’s is banking on getting a bigger slice of the pie. Some 52% of consumers say they sometimes order deep dish, in a recent consumer survey from Technomic, the restaurant research firm. Pan pizza's popularity is only a few percentage points behind top-ranked, hand-tossed pizza. Technomic says men 35 to 44 years old crave pan pizza the most, and it's preferred by folks living in the Midwest and Northeast.
Now, after twice trying and failing with pan pizza, Domino's is aiming high with its biggest competitive move since relaunching its hand-tossed pizza with a new recipe. A medium Domino's handmade pan pizza with two toppings will initially sell for $7.99.