In pizza retailing, innovation is a key factor in bringing in customers. But beyond introducing new toppings and playing with the base, what potential for innovation is there? To solve this challenge, innovation experts ?What If! helped the team from Pizza Hut stop thinking about products and start thinking about insights and unmet needs.
The team got out of the office and into restaurants and the lives of their consumers. They went out at various times during the day, sitting and eating with real customers – not just talking to the staff and restaurant managers, but finding out what it’s really like to take your family out and about.
The team identified a very simple but enormously powerful insight – when ordering pizza, the kids, Dad and Mum all want different toppings. And although it is a product that is supposed to be all about sharing, it can turn into a nightmare of negotiation and compromise – until, say, Mum finally falls on her sword and shares what someone else has chosen.
But if you’re a family restaurant with a core target of mums, you really do need to worry about Mum losing out all the time. So the idea of the 4forALL Pizza was born from this insight – 4 square pizzas, each with its own individual topping but all of them purchased together as a single unit. Everyone gets their favourite topping so no-one has to compromise - not even Mum!
Initially launched as the Quad in the UK, this was the first example of a real product innovation coming from the UK as opposed to being drawn from the US innovation pipeline. The concept then landed on American shores, where it was reframed and tweaked to create the 4forALL Pizza that was launched by Jessica Simpson at Super Bowl 2004. Sales records were broken as the largest pizza company in the world saw purchases go through the roof across its 7000 stores.
Source: Barez-Brown, C: (2006) How to Have Kick-Ass Ideas: Get Curious, Get Adventurous, Get Creative. Harper Element, London.