The highly adult-friendly, super-convenience concept behind the pasta line, launched in April with two items (Meaty Marinara and Creamy Chicken Alfredo), is no doubt a major driver behind its impressive success to date.
"As the first delivery pasta offered by a national chain, we expected that Tuscani Pastas would be extremely well-received by consumers, and the sales in the first five months have exceeded our initial expectations," reports Doug Willmarth, director of brand marketing, pasta for Pizza Hut. "We sold more than one million units of Tuscani Pastas in the first month, making [them] one of our most popular product launches ever."
Basically, the "restaurant-quality pasta delivered to your home" provides Mom and Dad with a more-or-less guilt-free way to feed the family a hot, substantive, relatively inexpensive meal (with both kid and adult appeal) without so much as having to boil water or microwave a jar of sauce. No stops at the grocery store and, as Pizza Hut touts, "No cooking or clean-up!"
The new offering--pans of baked rotini in cheese sauce, topped with bacon and melted cheese--is, like the other varieties, priced at $12.99--big enough to feed four, and accompanied by five breadsticks.
The pastas can be ordered by phone, online (including mobile) at www.pizzahut.com, or even by texting. The truly hooked-on-convenience can "download a desktop application that allows you to order your favorites with just a few clicks of your mouse."
The integrated campaign for the new Tuscani line currently includes national TV and radio, Internet banner ads, FSI mailers, box toppers, email blasts, POP and public relations.
Pizza Hut--which, according to Willmarth, had varieties beyond the initial two in development since the initial planning stages-- cleverly timed the debut of this third item for extra appeal during a more-frenzied-than-usual time of the year.
"This is a time of year when convenience is at a premium, not only for families with kids heading back to school, but people without kids who might be busier at work now that the summer is winding down," notes Willmarth. "We want to give our customers the delicious taste of a pasta variety we know they love while making their lives a bit easier during these hectic times."
Willmarth confirms that Pizza Hut will continue to expand the pasta portfolio with new recipes next year.
Might Pizza Hut now be contemplating launching new delivery-friendly food lines beyond pasta and pizza? Willmarth replies that the chain already offers WingStreet--an item offering "eight intense flavors of wings"--through 1,300 restaurants spanning many markets, and plans to continue to expand that selection's delivery across the country.