If the idea of inhaling a whole pepperoni pizza or scarfing a Big Mac triggers your guilt, perhaps you’d feel better consuming these items in a series of dainty, smaller bites instead. Pizza Hut (YUM) is now the latest chain to offer sized-down products. On Feb. 4, it added mini pizzas, called Big Pizza Sliders, to its menu—an odd moniker since they are neither big, nor are they sliders in the traditional sense of being small sandwiches. Each pizza measures 3.5 inches across and weighs slightly less than a slice of a large pie.
Pizza Hut isn’t entirely focused on helping diners eat less—sure, you can get a modest order of three, but the sliders also come in boxes of nine. Sizing down does help the chain control costs amid rising commodities prices. “The cost of sale for this product is better than a large pizza,” says spokesman Doug Terfehr. The sliders, which were tested in 2012, retail for $10 for nine or $5 for three.
Terfehr says, however, that the main consideration behind the sliders is not cost but providing more customization, as customers can choose up to three different combos with up to three toppings each per order (a pie can have different toppings only on each half).
Other chains are offering new mini items. McDonald’s (MCD) this month launched Fish McBites for a limited time, which will also be available in Happy Meals. A regular-size (5.2 oz.) order of Fish McBites costs $3.69, slightly less than a 5-oz. Filet-O-Fish sandwich at $3.99. Burger King (BKW) recently offered molten fudge bites for $1.69. Last July, 7-Eleven (3382) started selling mini tacos at four for $1, driven by “the ‘snacking’ trend,” according to company spokesman Scott Drake.
First, calorie-conscious consumers want a greater range of options. Second, as commodities prices rise, sizing down helps companies hit target price points, says Marek.more