Pizza Hut has taken inspiration from a Midwest favorite for its newest pizza.
The company announced Tuesday that is launching a new Detroit-style pizza at locations across the country due to its growing popularity beyond the Motor City and customer demand.
Pizza Hut spent a year trying out 500 versions of the rectangular-shaped pizza and testing it in the Midwest before coming out with four versions of the Detroit-style pizza.
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"Detroit-style pizza is the fastest-growing trend in pizza," David Graves, chief brand officer of Pizza Hut U.S. said during a media preview. "It’s no longer a Midwest-only thing."
In traditional Detroit style, the pizza has cheese all the way to the edges that forms a thick, caramelized crust and tomato sauce ladled across the toppings. The company also made its own tomato sauce that is only available on the Detroit-style pizzas.
The pizza chain is offering four different Detroit-style pies, including the Detroit Double Pepperoni, which has 32 slices of regular pepperoni and 48 slices of cupped pepperoni for a crunchy texture. (Yes, that is 80 slices of pepperoni total.)
The other three versions of the Detroit-style pizzas are the Double Cheesy, which is layered with two kinds of cheese, the Meaty Deluxe, which as bacon, Italian sausage and cupped pepperoni, and the Supremo, which is topped with Italian sausage, red onions and green bell peppers. Prices begin at $10.99.
Detroit-style pizza, which is distinguished by its rectangular shape, cheese to the edges, thick crust and tomato sauce on top of the cheese and toppings, originated in 1946 at Buddy's Rendezvous in Detroit. Owner Gus Guerra adapted a Sicilian-style pizza for a deeper, rectangular pan and layered it with cheese to the corners while ladling sauce on top, according to Eater.
The pizza has some similarities to the popular Chicago-style deep dish, but the Chicago version is circular, more like a pie than a pizza, and doesn't have the extra thick crust.
Detroit-based pizza chain Little Caesars was the first chain to offer its local style of pizza nationally in 2013 after it had spread locally for decades to numerous pizza places following its creation. Buddy's itself announced in 2018 that it would be expanding beyond Michigan to bring its Detroit-style pizza to the masses.
Pizza Hut has joined the trend as pizza consumption continues to rise with everyone stuck at home during the pandemic, which has prompted competitors like Papa John's to even open new locations at a time when thousands of restaurants are closing.
Pizza Hut has also become more focused on its delivery and takeout business after closing hundreds of its dine-in restaurants in the last two years, which have since been repurposed as restaurants, banks, churches, liquor stores and even a funeral home.