Papa John's Menu Changes Will Cost It $100M a Year

Joins growing list of companies shunning artificial ingredients
By Brownie Marie,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2015 11:44 AM CDT
Papa John's Menu Changes Will Cost It $100M a Year
A stock photo of pizza.   (Shutter Stock)

Papa John's is spending a literal fortune in order to more perfectly live up to its "Better Ingredients, Better Pizza" slogan. America's No. 3 pizza chain has penned a 14-item list of artificial ingredients and additives—corn syrup, dyes, and preservatives—that it'll stop using by late next year, and CEO and founder John Schnatter tells Bloomberg News just how much doing so will cost: $100 million annually due to the usage of more premium ingredients. "It's hard to remove some of these things and still get the flavor and functionality you want," he concedes. "We gave up flavor on the ranch dressing [which lost its MSG last year] because I wanted to get the chemical out."

Bloomberg notes most of what Papa John's is striking from its menu isn't actually related to its pies but to ancillary items like dipping sauces. Schnatter tells the site the company has been working to live up to its slogan on this front since 1996 (a visit to a sausage-making factory was a defining moment for the CEO). It has since dropped cellulose from its mozzarella and taken two preservatives out of its pepperoni—that latter move tacks on $2 million in costs each year. As far as other pizzamakers go, Papa John's isn't alone in its quest. Pizza Hut announced last month that it would wipe all artificial colors and flavors from its pies by the end of next month, Fortune reported. (A colorful breakfast cereal will be getting rid of its blue and green puffs.)

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