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Opportunities | Food

keep it available for the customer,” he explains. Pizza Hut has a product development team and chef who spend their days researching what it is that consumers want. “They engage with our suppliers, as most are big Australian companies that service the restaurant and retail industries, and they work on bringing whatever taste profiles are in high demand into our pizzas,” says Masood. The company provides franchisees and their employees with the appropriate training when introducing new products to the market, too. “It is a fairly elaborate process when we roll out new products. Product development, operational and procedural manuals are prepared and all the stores and their teams learn how to make and communicate information about the new product. “Our operations team also provide support when required,” he adds.

DomINo’S Domino’s latest product range highlights the lengths pizza franchises are willing to go to when it comes to marketing new products. Prior to its launch the company used multiple channels to communicate to consumers that whatever it was launching, it was going to be a ‘game changer,’ and in the days leading up to the launch it closed all of its stores for an hour to deliver specialised training. The ‘game changer’ was Chef’s Best, a range that features eight new pizza varieties, including BBQ duck and blue cheese, chicken and cranberry, shiraz lamb and tomato and BBQ pork and hollandaise. While products in the range feature a number of

In the week after the launch, products from the Chef’s Best range accounted for 25.22 percent of total sales more gourmet ingredients, the company also used price as one of its biggest drawcards. Initial reactions to the new range were far from desirable, with many arguing a few new pizza toppings were no game changer. During a Facebook discussion on 12 March Don Meij, CEO, Domino’s set the record straight. “We got really excited [by the range] because we believe what we have done is quite unique. We have taken our highest quality, tastiest pizzas and priced them in the middle of our pizza range. For just eight dollars pick-up you can get something which customers told us they would pay $15 to $22 for,” he said. 46| FRANCHISING mAY/JUN 2013

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He insisted that the new range is indeed a game changer because each pizza has been created using an entirely new recipe. “There are more toppings on every slice, and these are premium toppings all balanced to make amazing tasting pizzas. When you see what you get for eight dollars, we think the whole package is game changing,” he said. In a bid to highlight the role consumer’s play in the product development process, Meij added “please note that the game changing comment came from a couple of customers in focus groups.” Despite initial reactions, Domino’s reported that in the week following the launch, products from the Chef’s Best range accounted for 25.22 percent, or just over one quarter of total sales, a figure it said is much higher than normal for a new product launch.

eAGle BoYS Eagle Boys has taken a slightly different approach when it comes to new product offerings. Rather than focus specifically on introducing new products, the company devotes its time to perfecting already existing ones. Kate Pettiford, head of marketing, Eagle Boys says the company recently made a number of improvements to its menu. “We refreshed our menu in October last year. It was one of the biggest refreshers we have had in a while and it was about delivering a higher quality product with higher quality ingredients. “Our motivation for that came from listening to our customers, watching consumer behaviour and trends change, and a desire to suit their needs,” she explains. The company also added a number of its most popular limited editions pizzas, such as the chicken Hawaiian and tex mex to its permanent menu. Pettiford explains the company isn’t following the same path as many other pizza franchises. “I think the pizza sector is certainly expanding much more rapidly than in the past and it is evolving in a number of different directions, and from an Eagle Boys perspective we are really focusing on our core products and our core traditional range.” The move is in part driven by the fact that even though there has been an increased demand for more gourmet product offerings, customers still love the company’s traditional range. “We have some very loyal Eagle Boys customers who love their core set of products; they love their Hawaiian and Meatlovers,” she says. When the brand does develop new products or makes improvements to existing ones, Pettiford says franchisees play an important role. “We speak to our franchisees very regularly and when we are developing products it is often something we will run past our network first to say this is what we

Franchising Magazine May / June 2013  
Franchising Magazine May / June 2013  

What should you look for in a franchise? Find out nine key elements to consider before you purchase in the latest issue of Franchising magaz...

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