Pizza Hut is going full Midwestern, announcing today the nationwide launch of a new Detroit-style pizza.
Available in four varieties for a limited time, the pizza is not to be confused with the brand’s existing pan pizza, which is vastly inferior to Detroit-style pizza. Pizza Hut’s take on the regional specialty will be true to the traditional style, defined by a square or rectangular deep-dish shape, porous interior, pan-crisped crust caramelized to perfection with cheese, and tomato sauce dolloped on top.
Buddy’s Pizza in Detroit is credited with inventing the pizza back in the 1940s, although by now it appears on menus from New York to Nashville to San Francisco. As CNBC writes: “The pizza has been growing in popularity in the last decade as Michiganders opened up pizzerias elsewhere in the U.S. Little Caesars, which is privately owned and headquartered in Detroit, was the first national pizza chain to take the trend to the masses in 2013.” Jet’s Pizza, another Michigan-based chain, has also taken its Detroit-style pizza to other states, while the original Buddy’s has also announced plans to expand regionally and beyond.
“Detroit-style pizza is the fastest-growing trend in pizza,” David Graves, chief brand officer of Pizza Hut U.S., told CNBC. “It’s no longer a Midwest-only thing.”
Pizza Hut spent more than a year developing its version, trying more than 500 iterations and making a new tomato sauce just for its Detroit-style pizza, according to a press release.
The chain is coming off a turnaround year of demand and sales growth, as pizza purveyors such as Domino’s and Papa John’s fared well during the pandemic amid a delivery boom.