LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 27, 2008--Pizza is already America's favorite food. Ninety-three percent of Americans eat at least one slice of pizza per month. Collectively we consume more than 350 slices per second - enough to cover 100 football fields - or roughly 46 slices each per year. Now, thanks to Papa John's, we can do so while benefiting from the goodness of whole grain.
Beginning May 26, Papa John's will become the first national pizza chain to add a 100 percent whole-wheat crust to its menu. Available at all 2,700+ Papa John's restaurants in the U.S., one large slice of cheese pizza on the whole-wheat crust will contain fewer calories, two-and-a-half times the fiber and less sodium when compared to one large slice of cheese on the original Papa John's pizza crust.
According to a 2007 Pizza Marketplace survey of 450 pizzeria operators, only 7.7 percent of pizzerias offer whole-wheat crust, but most said that it is growing in popularity. Given Papa John's reputation for using only the freshest, highest quality ingredients, the company is well suited to make great-tasting whole grains available to its customers.
"Most folks know we use fresh-packed tomato sauce made from vine-ripened tomatoes, not concentrate, that our traditional crust dough is fresh, never frozen and prepared with clear-filtered water and that our vegetable toppings are cut and prepped freshly everyday," said John Schnatter, founder chairman of Papa John's. "Our new 100 percent whole-wheat crust continues our commitment to use better ingredients to make what we believe to be a better pizza for our customers."
Containing 40 grams of whole grains per serving - more than 80 percent of an entire day's recommended whole grains intake - the Papa John's whole-wheat crust will be delivered in a special pizza box featuring the official "100% Whole Grain Stamp(1)" from the Whole Grains Council.
According to the Council, 64 percent of Americans say they are trying to eat more whole grains. And, for good reason. Studies have proven whole grains provide a range of health benefits, including lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
"Whole grains are an increasing trend in the food industry because of their many health benefits," said Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D., L.D.N., CSSD, Director, Sports Medicine Nutrition at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "Whole grains help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity while providing other added health benefits including more fiber and vitamins. For a pizza company to begin offering menu options rich in whole grains is a major message that all families can find better nutrition options from a wide variety of food types."
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends eating six servings of grains a day, three or more of which should be whole grains. However, the majority of Americans are still consuming only one serving of whole grains each day.
"Consumption is now starting to rise as Americans discover a wide range of new whole grain choices that are quick and delicious," said Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies, Oldways/The Whole Grains Council. "Our 100% Whole Grain Stamp makes it easy to find products like the new Papa John's whole-wheat crust, and to see at a glance the amount of whole grains they contain."
While the new, 100 percent whole wheat crust will offer nutritional advantages, Papa John's pizza has been adding to its nutritional portfolio for quite some time. Consider:
Finally, the goodness of 100 percent whole grains meets the great taste of Papa John's pizza.
Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John's International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world's third largest pizza company. For eight years running, consumers have rated Papa John's No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the highly regarded American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John's also ranks first among pizza companies in the 2008 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index and was named 2007 Pizza Today Chain of the Year. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John's at www.papajohns.com.
(1)The Whole Grains Council "100% Stamp" is used to recognize products that guarantee a full serving or more of whole grain and are made totally with whole grains. A "basic" Whole Grain Stamp is also available for products that may contain a mix of whole and refined grains, but that guarantee a minimum of a half-serving of whole grain.
CONTACT: Papa John's International, Inc.
Tish Muldoon, 502-261-4987
Director, Public Relations
Fleishman-Hillard, for Papa John's
Molly Cornbleet, 314-982-0298
SOURCE: Papa John's International, Inc.