What's Up in Pizza: Vegan Chain Pies, Pizza Hut Bling, Chipotle's Foray into Pizza, and More!


[Photograph: RocketNews24]

  • According to NPR, there's a new pizza on the menu for Dominos Israel. A Facebook campaign led by Vegan Friendly—a group promoting veganism in Israel—has pushed Dominos to offer a dairy-free option. The new pizza is being sold as a family-size pie for around $20.00, and comes with vegetables and a soy-based topping. Spokesman Tim McIntyre is quick to note that while Dominos will be keeping close tabs on the success of the vegan pie, there are currently no plans to work on a similar option for the U.S., where cheese (stuffed and shoved anywhere it can be) is always in demand.
  • Which brings us to the next bit of news—it turns out pizza-lovers in India are pretty big on cheese too. Pizza Hut India is introducing what they're calling their cheesiest pie available. Known as the "So Cheezy", the crust is stuffed with jalapeno-flavored cheese, there's creamy cheese in the middle, and loads of mozzarella on top of it all. I think it's safe to say this pie, unlike Israel's vegan one, might be making an appearance in the U.S. in the future.
  • And while we're talking Pizza Hut, it turns out that Pizza Hut Japan has a new promotion in play, just in time for the holidays: the company is giving away eight tiny pendant "slices", each valued at $770.00, conceptually part of a full golden pie necklace. To enter, assuming you live in Japan, you just need to be a member of Pizza Hut Online, and place an order of at least $43.00 any time between now and January 5th, 2014, when winners will be determined by lottery. I have to admit, I'm getting some serious Willy Wonka vibes off the deal, and would be incredibly entertained if winning the slice necklace also ensured a whirlwind tour of the magical Pizza Hut factories, and ended with one lucky, unassuming person inheriting the cheesy empire.
  • According to Grub Street, two former New York Knicks players—John Starks and Anthony Mason—are teaming up with investors Chris Cuomo and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim to open the first New York branch of D.C.-based pizza chain Custom FUEL, coming soon in Harlem. It's a build-your-own style place, with a number of crust, sauce, and toppings options in addition to a set menu of specialty pies; whether or not it will be able to compete with the city's already ample offerings remains to be seen.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports yet another development in the build-your-own-pizza scene: Chipotle has taken steps to get in on the action by helping to finance the Denver opening of Pizzeria Locale—the original Chipotle also launched with a single Denver location. The idea is similar to Chipotle's existing take on Mexican food—you choose your own sauce and toppings, watch your food get made in front of you, and come out of it a few minutes later with a fresh pie for not too much money; an 11-inch pizza is going for around $6.50. The owners of Pizzeria Locale, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and Bobby Stuckey (who first met working at French Laundry together), want to convince people that not everything is necessarily better with triple-cheese stuffed crusts, and are offering fresh toppings options like broccolini and corn to back up the idea that pizza can be fast, tasty, and healthy.

That's the news this week—happy holidays, Slicer's!