While Americans love pizza, it might not be as much as they did during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, and Papa Johns is now seeing a slowdown in business. To liven things up, the company is putting a twist on their classics with a new menu item they hope will reinvigorate interest in the brand. Papa Bowls will offer everything people love about pizza, without the crust.
Customers will have three crust-less pizzas to choose from. The Italian Meats Trio includes signature pizza and alfredo sauces, under layers of pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, green peppers, onions, and tomatoes. It is all topped off with three different kinds of cheese and Italian seasonings.
The Chicken Alfredo features creamy alfredo and garlic parmesan sauces, with grilled chicken, spinach, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes, topped with a cheese blend and Italian seasoning. The third option is the Garden Veggie, which includes spinach, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, banana peppers, and tomatoes with pizza sauce and garlic parmesan, topped with cheese and Italian seasoning.
The three flavors will be available nationwide on Aug. 22, but Papa Rewards loyalty members can already order them. All three varieties are $7.99. Customers can also make a customized Papa Bowl for $7.99. The items are served in long bowls, packed inside a cardboard box to make sure they don't arrive at homes cold.
"We are very excited to offer Papa Bowls as a new menu category and as a new way consumers can experience our premium ingredients," Scott Rodriguez, Papa Johns Senior Vice President of Menu Strategy and Product Innovation, said in a statement. "Our signature crust continues to be a beloved favorite, but we know that sometimes customers crave something different. We want them to know we are committed to delivering on all of those cravings through our menu."
The new menu offerings come as Papa Johns' growth reached a snag. Sales are up, but they grew by just under 1% at North American restaurants during the second quarter, compared to 5% growth at the same time last year, reports CNN. In 2020, Papa Johns saw sales skyrocket 28% in the second quarter. "There's a general thought that there could be a little bit of pizza fatigue," Rodriguez told CNN. "Because that's all we've had for the last couple of years."
Papa Johns has made several big changes in recent years. In 2021, the company redesigned its stores and logo, dropping the apostrophe in the name. In April, the company launched the Pepperoni-Stuffed Crust Pizza and Spicy Pepperoni Rolls for a limited time. A New York-style pizza was also on the menu for a brief time.