Pizza Hut is on a mission to own the pizza delivery market in 2019. The struggling casual dining sector was a theme of 2018 with Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, Prezzo and others all forced to close restaurants and this doesn’t look set to change, with Beverley D’Cruz, sales and marketing director at Pizza Hut Europe and UK telling Marketing Week “delivery is going to be one of the key trends for 2019”.
She explains: “Convenience and great tasting food at our fingertips is the trend for 2019 so we [Pizza Hut] have spent a lot of time getting our app right, getting our technology right and getting our loyalty programme in place.”
This is why the chain has decided now is the right time to invest in a new brand campaign under the tagline ‘Now that’s delivering’, which it launched on Boxing Day, with the aim of getting consumers to associate delivery more strongly with the brand.
The tongue-in-cheek campaign, the first created by agency Iris, highlights its newly-launched loyalty scheme Hut Rewards, £5 favourite value proposition, its taste credentials and 30-minute delivery guarantee, all while taking a dig at its biggest rival Domino’s. Without mentioning its competitor by name, the star of the ad compares the offer at both chains all while a trail of blue dominoes fall in the background.
D’Cruz says: “At the end of the day we sell pizza and that’s entertaining so our goal is to not take ourselves too seriously and have some fun in the space.”
Appealing to a wider audience
With many consumers jumping on the vegan bandwagon for ‘Veganuary’ this month, Pizza Hut is also looking to tap into demand for healthier alternatives with the launch of its vegan-friendly jackfruit pizza.
“You have to stay at the tip of what customers [want and how they] are changing so we are furiously innovating food ideas every season,” she explains.
Despite this, D’Cruz is clear that Pizza Hut wants to stick with its fundamentals message that “the entire family can enjoy a meal”.
She adds: “Nine out of 10 times times people eat the same food they did the last time they are somewhere. Having a balanced choice is important but most of the time customers eat what they normally do.
“I think balance will be another trend for 2019, for example, how do you balance the need for what you love and to be healthier?”
De Cruz started out in Unilever working on soap brand Lifebuoy and Lipton before moving into food. Prior to taking up her current role she was marketing director at KFC and while she says food tastes might have evolved, she believes social media has had a bigger impact from a marketing perspective.
She concludes: “The new standard of things is if you fail you fail fast. You don’t find out in six weeks when the campaign ends, you find out right away if people like something and that’s very powerful and useful. Social media tells you if you are a success or a failure very quickly.”