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Pizza Hut launching pizza sliders


February 6, 2013
By The Canadian Press

Feb. 6, 2013, United States – Pizza Hut is hoping to tempt consumers with tiny new pies.

Feb. 6, 2013, United States – Pizza Hut is hoping to tempt consumers with tiny new pies.

The chain introduced "pizza sliders'' on Monday, which are smaller than its personal pies and can be ordered in batches for families that want to customize their orders with different toppings. The sliders will be available in either a $10 box of nine or a $5 box of three.

The box of nine sliders would be the equivalent of a large pie, which has eight slices and also costs $10.

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A slider is 3.5 inches across, while a personal pie is 6 inches.

The roll out of the sliders right after the Super Bowl is intended to generate excitement during a time when people may be sick of pizza. The partying done during the final pro football game of the season makes the day one of the five biggest days for pizza consumption of the entire year. The other four are Halloween, the day before Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, according to Pizza Today.

To combat pizza fatigue last year after the Super Bowl, Pizza Hut launched its $10 Dinner Box, which includes breadsticks and dessert and has helped grow sales over the past year.

Now the chain is looking for another big spark.

The sliders were inspired by a popular dish Pizza Hut offered in India called the iPan, which were sold in batches of three. Pizza Hut thought the mini pizzas would translate well to the U.S., given the growing popularity of burger sliders at restaurants.

The pizza sliders let customers pick three different toppings for both the box of nine and box of three. Carrie Walsh, senior vice-president of marketing for Pizza Hut, notes that the most customization people can usually get now is ordering a pie with different toppings on each half.

With the sliders, Walsh said people "don't have to worry about your mushrooms spilling over on my cheese side."

The sliders aren't the first time Pizza Hut looked overseas for inspiration; the Dinner Box was first introduced in Australia before it came to the United States.

Pizza Hut declined to say whether the sliders have higher profit margins than a regular pie. In terms of how filling they are, Pizza Hut says each slider is roughly the equivalent of a slice, meaning a person might eat two or three. A pepperoni slider has about 260 calories, compared with 250 calories for a slice of a medium pie and 370 calories for a slice from a large pie.