Pizza Hut targets value with $10 Dinner Box


Pizza Hut's new $10 Dinner Box hopes to appeal to changing value perception among consumers.

The $10 Dinner Box includes one medium rectangular one-topping pizza, five breadsticks with marinara dipping sauce and 10 cinnamon sticks with icing, and was introduced in “digital soft-sell” this past weekend.

Kurt Kane, chief marketing officer for Plano, Texas-based Pizza Hut, said the new limited-time offer plays off the chain’s “Big Dinner Box” promotion from late last year.

“We had huge success with what we called our ‘Big Dinner Box’ that we put on the market in December, which was at a $19.99 price point. It had two medium pizzas, eight wings and breadsticks inside,” Kane told Nation’s Restaurant News. “What we challenged ourselves with is: ‘Can we give consumers even more value than that?’ We wanted to give the smaller group occasion great value as well.”

The $10 Dinner Box would cost $16 if each item were purchased separately, Kane said.

“This uniquely positions us versus our competitors,” he said. “Historically, where people have defined value has been around trying to provide the lowest price on a single pizza and fighting it out on the price point. What we are trying to do is change the nature of that discussion and really turn it into a value conversation around what you get for what you pay.”

The deal got good response in a market test last fall, he said. “Our firm belief is that the competition doesn’t have the same menu variety that we do, so we can leverage that menu variety and bring it to people at a great value,” Kane added.

Pizza Hut, like other chains, is dealing with post-recession views about what makes up value.

“The recession has changed people’s perceptions and expectations for value significantly,” Kane said. “I don’t know that it will ever change back.

"Our brand and our system has come to recognize there is a much higher standard for value than there was just a few years ago,” he said. “What they love is the ‘unlimited variety’ side of it. Their perception of value is that there shouldn’t be limitations on what they can access and the type of experience they can have just because they are looking to spend their money wisely.”

The recession was a jarring event, Kane said. “A whole new generation of consumers has basically been born under a new value mindset, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon,” he added.

Watch Kane discuss value and the consumer; story continues below

Kane did not divulge an end date for the $10 Dinner Box promotion. “But we’re excited about it, so consumers are likely to see it out there for quite some time,” he said.

Looking ahead, Pizza Hut is considering tapping into a potential market for single diners, or what Kane called “the individual eating occasion.”

Pizza chains have had difficulty tapping into that market, according to Kane.

“The pizza category has generally been grounded around having three or more people gather around a pizza,” he said. In response, Pizza Hut is testing ideas that would appeal to one person or individual tastes within a group.

Pizza Hut launched in conjunction with the $10 Dinner Box its $10 Big Box Proposal, an offer of a Valentine’s Day marriage proposal package for $10,010. The Big Box Proposal offer eclipsed the chain’s introduction of the $10 Dinner Box.

The $10,010 deal included a ruby ring, fireworks and a videographer, and drew about 500 legitimate inquiries within 24 hours.

Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Louisville, Ky.-based Yum! Brands Inc., has about 10,000 restaurants worldwide.

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