Pizza Hut has declared that cheese is a topping, meaning that plain pizzas and pies with one topping will now cost the same. The chain’s declaration comes in response to the rising price of block cheddar, the light sweet crude of the cheese market. Pizza Hut buys 300 million pounds of cheese each year.
Jennifer Little, a Pizza Hut spokeswoman, said the new strategy is to treat cheese “almost like an extra topping.” Little said the price change also could be justified because a typical cheese pizza has about 50 percent more cheese than a similar-size pie with one topping, such as pepperoni.
Papa John’s has no plans has no plans to treat cheese like a topping; the Pizza Hut rival hedged its cheese supply, guaranteeing steady prices through the summer. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER