Any way you slice it, pork is proving that “Better ingredients. Better pizza.™” is more than a slogan at Papa John’s.
“Papa John’s is a trend setter in the highly competitive pizza arena, and other brands look to them as a model of how to do it right,” said David Bottagaro, national foodservice marketing manager for the Pork Checkoff. “They are raising the bar by offering new, innovative, premium pork toppings on their menu.”
The Pork Checkoff recently teamed up with Papa John’s on two signature pizza promotions that ran back-to-back in 2012. The chain’s Five Sausage Pizza featured chorizo, pork sausage crumbles, spicy and mild Italian sausage and smoked sausage. Papa John’s also debuted a Double Bacon Six Cheese Pizza featuring Canadian bacon, hickory-smoked bacon and a six-cheese blend of mozzarella, parmesan, Romano, Asiago, provolone, and Fontina.
The Double Bacon Six Cheese Pizza proved so popular that it has now become a full-time core menu offering at Papa John’s 3,500 restaurants in all 50 states.
“When a major operator like Papa John’s introduces a new pork topping option like chorizo or offers pork on new two signatures pizzas, this increases pork demand,” Bottagaro said. “Papa John’s also has the ability to shift the dynamics in the whole pizza category by prompting other brands to re-evaluate their menu and provide additional pork toppings.”
Canadian bacon adds value
Among America’s top five pizza companies, Papa John’s is the only brand to offer Canadian bacon as a topping ingredient choice on its permanent menu. Three of Papa John’s specialty signature pizzas also showcase Canadian bacon.
“In the beginning of 2012, Papa John’s exchanged all ham toppings in its North America stores with Canadian bacon prepared from loin meat,” said Bottagaro, who noted that the Pork Checkoff has been working with Papa John’s for the past two years. “This creates demand for this undervalued cut and presents a great opportunity for pork loin.”
Catering to the Hispanic market
To spread the word about the premium pork toppings on its Five Sausage Pizza and Double Bacon Six Cheese Pizza, Papa John’s launched a nationwide, integrated marketing campaign in 2012 supported by Pork® Be inspired® and El Sabor De Mil Platillos®. These promotions targeted not only a general audience, but Hispanic consumers, as well.
“We want to reinforce pork’s image as the most versatile, flavorful protein on the global stage,” said Bottagaro, who noted that Pork El Sabor De Mil Platillos logos were included on all Spanish-language print ads and 30-second television ads on Hispanic Univision and ESPN DeSportes. “With Latinos becoming the fastest-growing demographic in the country, it’s important for pork to connect with the people who make food purchasing decisions in Latino households.”
In any promotion, menu ideation or development, connecting with consumers requires a mix of strategies, added Bottagaro, who noted that Papa John’s integrated marketing campaign for its general audience included national television advertising, print ads, social media and other tools. Working with a leading company like Papa John’s offers unique opportunities to amplify pork’s message and build momentum for future promotions.
“The Pork Checkoff can maximize its outreach by capitalizing on Papa John’s media buying power and impressive customer loyalty. This provides us the greatest opportunity to strengthen pork’s brand position as the premium protein, which helps drive more demand for pork.”