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The Robert Redford of Pizza

I haven’t eaten at Pizza Hut in years (though I did work at a takeout-only branch the summer between high school and college and ate personal pan pizzas nearly every day) so it’s not likely that a marketing gimmick such as their new (nationally—it launched in test markets last year) pizza, The Natural, will sway me. What I do find interesting is how quickly a food fad will sweep the nation, not that I’m one to argue with a move toward zero high fructose corn syrup and filler-free sausage.

Pizza Hut’s own research found that 73% of those surveyed believe “foods that are natural have flavor the way it was meant to taste.” Ok, that’s a bit vague.

But this newfound faith in nature has been bolstered by recent studies. According to Mintel, in the US 33% of new food and beverage products touted being natural in 2008, a 16% rise from the previous year.

Nielsen has reported that food with natural claims accounted for $22.3 billion in sales in 2008, a 10% increase versus 2007. Meanwhile low carb products decreased 3% during the same time period. Natural in, restricted eating out.

When it comes down to it, taste is what really matters. Check out mixed reviews of The Natural on Chow and The Impulsive Buy.

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