dominos-latest-to-alter-product: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
Domino's Pizza announced today that it is changing its pizza recipe in just about every possible way. "We're basically relaunching Domino's Pizza," said Russell Weiner, the head of marketing for Domino's. The move by Domino's comes on the heels of similar announcements made by General Mills and Campbell, saying that they'll be altering some of their iconic products. Why are these companies tinkering with what's proven to be successful for them?
For Domino's, it simply comes down to taste. A recent survey of pizza consumers found that Domino's ranked at the bottom of all the major chains for taste, along with Chuck E. Cheese. With the approach of Super Bowl Sunday, the pizza industry's biggest day of the year, the company is adding butter, garlic, and parsley to its crust, switching from diced to shredded mozzarella cheese with some added provolone and creating a sweeter sauce with a more pronounced red-pepper flavor. Additionally, Domino's, which recently brought "The Noid" out of retirement, says that it plans to launch an aggressive online and television marketing campaign in conjunction with the new recipes and its 50th anniversary.
Conversely, the recipe changes made by Campbell and General Mills seem to be more health-related than anything else. Campbell announced on Monday that it will cut sodium levels by up to 35 percent in its popular-with-children SpaghettiOs canned pastas. It's the second time in two years that Campbell has reduced the sodium in SpaghettiOs, helping them to be in line with the FDA and Department of Agriculture requirements for main dishes deemed suitable for consumption by children.
Meanwhile, General Mills — the maker of Lucky Charms, Trix, and Cocoa Puffs — announced that it will cut up to 20 percent of the sugar in its cereals marketed to children under 12 years old, following a similar move made by Post Foods and Kellogg's. The changes from all three companies are part of an industry-wide effort to help curb the growing epidemic of childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes.
Domino's, which will have the newpizzas in all of its stores by Dec. 27, ranks higher than any other pizza chain in overall customer satisfaction, so improving on their most glaring weakness could go far in setting them apart from their main rivals, Pizza Hut and Papa John's. On the other hand, some industry insiders consider it a big risk that could cause an uproar similar to the one recently created by Kraft in Australia when it tinkered with Vegemite, a product enormously popular there.
Restaurant industry consultant Howard Gordon, speaking to ABC about Domino's move, said, "I don't know of any [restaurant] company that has attempted this," adding, "Once you've built a brand, that's your brand. To change it means that everything you've stood for isn't right."
New Coke, anyone?