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Papa John’s ditches the crust in its latest menu item

The pizza chain is coming out with a line of Papa Bowls that feature pizza toppings without the crust.
Papa John's Papa Bowls
Papa John's latest menu innovation features pizza toppings served in a bowl. / Photo courtesy of Papa John's.

Papa John’s latest menu innovation does not include a crust.

Papa Bowls have everything else, from pepperoni and sausage to chicken to vegetables, sauces and cheese. They will be instead served in a bowl.  

The product, which will be offered first to the company’s loyalty members starting on Aug. 15 and then to everyone else on Aug. 22, will come in three varieties and will be priced at $7.99. The company views the bowls as the start of a new menu category.

“Our signature crust continues to be a beloved favorite, but we know that sometimes customers crave something different,” Scott Rodriguez, Papa John’s SVP of menu strategy and product innovation, said in a statement.

Papa John’s has generated strong sales in recent years in part based on its menu innovation, starting with Papadias sandwiches in early 2020 and continuing with Epic Stuffed Crust and NY Style pizzas. The items have encouraged customers to either add products to their orders, as they have with Papadias, or order higher-priced options.

In this case, the company is stepping into a market for low-carb options. Pizza companies have generally struggled to meet the demands for customers who do not want carb-heavy pizzas. In this case, Papa John’s is trying a relatively simple solution—ditching the crust altogether.

The Papa Bowls will come in three options:

  • Italian Meats, which features pizza and alfredo sauce topped with pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, cheese and Italian seasoning;
  • Chicken Alfredo, featuring alfredo and parmesan sauces, grilled chicken with spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, cheese and seasoning;
  • Garden Veggie, including spinach, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, banana peppers, pizza sauce, garlic parmesan, cheese and seasoning.

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