In a release on Wednesday, Papa John’s announced its plans to source antibiotic-free poultry that is fed a 100-percent vegetarian diet, distinguishing itself as the first major pizza chain to do so.
The antibiotic-free chicken will be used for pizza toppings and in Papa John’s chicken poppers. However, as Consumerist points out, the announcement fails to mention the chain's popular chicken wings,. Sean Muldoon, Senior VP of Research and Development with Papa John’s, tells Consumerist, “Our immediate focus was on our grilled chicken pizza toppings and chicken poppers, but we’re also in the process of working on our wings — there are complexities that make the timeline longer.” Additionally, the release fails to mention any plans for changing the way Papa John’s sources the beef and pork it uses for its other pizza toppings.
“This antibiotics initiative embodies everything our brand stands for,” said John Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John's. “I started this company over 31 years ago on a foundation of quality and a commitment to my customers to deliver on a promise of ‘Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.’ By serving high-quality chicken products without added human or animal antibiotics, we're just taking the next step on our journey to always get ‘Better.’”
The change is slated to occur by summer 2016, joining Papa John’s list of ‘no’ ingredients: trans fats, MSG, fillers in core meat toppings, BHA, BHT, and partially hydrogenated oils.