Pizza Hut’s Latest Offering Is…the Skinny Slice Pizza?

The fast-food giant is testing out the lighter pie in Ohio and Florida.
(Photo: Pizza Hut/Facebook)
Sep 20, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Kristina Bravo is Assistant Editor at TakePart.

From the company that pioneered the pizza doughnut and cheeseburger crust pizza comes a surprising addition to its menu: the Skinny Slice.

This week, Pizza Hut began testing the lighter pie in dozens of locations in Toledo, Ohio, and West Palm Beach, Fla., reported The Associated Press. Toledo customers can pick up to five toppings on each Skinny Slice pizza, each slice containing fewer than 300 calories. West Palm Beach patrons can select from six pizza options, each slice containing fewer than 250 calories.

According to the AP, the move comes as Pizza Hut tries to recover from last year’s 2 percent dip in sales at U.S. locations that have been in business for at least a year. Meanwhile, Domino’s, which recently reworked its recipes, and Papa John’s, which hyped its quality, enjoyed a 5.4 percent and 4 percent rise in North American sales, respectively.

The Hut is still the largest pizza company in the U.S., so it has the most to lose as the industry experiences a moderate growth of 2 to 3 percent a year, restaurant analyst Darren Told told the AP. He also said that unlike its competitors, Pizza Hut hasn’t “evolve[d] its product.” (The days of supersize soda and fries are long gone, so innovating the crust lately hasn’t cut it.)

This isn’t Pizza Hut’s first foray into the health-conscious market. In 2003, the chain introduced the Fit ’N Delicious pizza, which has less cheese and more tomato sauce, vegetables, and lean meat; each slice had 150 calories. The Skinny Slice will replace the Fit ’N Delicious (which is still available on request) if the test is successful.

Pizza fanatics doubt it will be.

“Diet pizza is an oxymoron,” Steve Green, publisher of a trade publication for pizza-store owners, told USA Today. “People have tried this a lot of times before—and it’s never sold well.”

Indeed, Burger King’s recent effort to put a healthy spin on potatoes with Satisfries failed. In the same week it discontinued the menu item, the chain announced the return—by popular demand—of Chicken Fries.