This ad came in the mail yesterday. It is apparently to introduce me, the consumer, to Pizza Hut’s new menu item, the P’Zolo. And it worked–I had not yet heard of this monstrosity. Is this a pizza burrito? Is it a sandwich? Is it a tubular calzone? More importantly (because, truly, what kind of health blogger would I be if I didn’t ask), just how unhealthy is it?
Apparently, I was so caught up with bacon sundaes finally going national that, somehow, I missed the initial release of the P’Zolo earlier this month. Meant to be Pizza Hut’s answer to Subway and other sandwich vendors, the P’Zolo, which appears to be a pizza, wrapped in a crust of some sort, has a pretty clear marketing message: sandwiches are crap, what you really want is a pizza. A hand-held pizza. With dipping sauce. 220-calorie Ranch dipping sauce.
Nutritionally speaking, the P’Zolo isn’t exactly a “F*** You” Pizza, and it actually stacks up almost identically to Subway’s less healthy 6-inch fare–a Buffalo Chicken P’zolo and a Buffalo Chicken sandwich both come in at around 420 calories (without that dipping sauce, that is)–which means someone at Pizza Hut did their research, and wanted to make sure the products were similar enough to really be competitive.
But what’s unusual about this particular fast food product is that it seems to be missing out on a lot of what Subway (who, you’ll recall, just rolled out their line of vegan sandwiches) and other sandwich makers already know–that while caloric, meat-and-cheese-laden offerings are appealing to some people, there’s a whole other subset of the population who are kind of into the idea of not having a heart attack at 35. Which means that while Pizza Hut may be able to carve away some of Subway’s fans with something like a handheld pizza burrito, they’re still a long way from reaching the health-conscious population.
But maybe they’re OK with that.
Image: The P’Zolo ad that came in the mail.