Pizza Hut launches "Summer of Cheese"

As part of the launch of a nationwide "Summer of Cheese" campaign this month, Pizza Hut placed two full-page ads in USA Today on May 28 and 29 that thank dairy cows and dairy producers for helping make the pizza-promotion possible.

The ads feature a pair of tongue-in-cheek letters between Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), which manages the national dairy checkoff, and Pizza Hut's president Mike Rawlings. In the first ad, a letter from DMI asks that the national restaurant chain "show some love" to dairy cows, which feel somewhat unappreciated given all the cheese they are providing for Pizza Hut's "Insider" and "Stuffed Crust" pizzas. In the second ad, Pizza Hut responds by thanking the cows and the dairy industry for the 100 million pounds of cheese that it expects to use this summer.

Declaring the season the "Summer of Cheese," Pizza Hut decided to have some fun with its position as the world's premier dairy industry customer. Pizza Hut will be showing its appreciation to the dairy industry with cheesy promotions throughout the summer.

According to Pizza Hut President Mike Rawlings, more cheese will be produced in America thanks to the Pizza Hut cheese-focused summer promotions. "Americans love cheese so we're giving consumers what they want on their pizza: more cheese." Rawlings promises more cheesy surprises for customers all summer long.

Pizza Hut uses more than 300 million pounds of cheese each year, making the company the largest user of cheese on the planet. All that cheese requires 300 billion pounds of milk, or 360 million gallons. Pizza Hut alone accounts for more than 3 percent of all cheese production in the United States, which in turn requires a herd of about 170,000 dairy cows to produce at full capacity.

And America's dairy farmers are actually quite pleased. Americans consume more cheese by eating pizza than any other source, and 85 percent of the growth in the dairy industry has come through the consumption of cheese.

All kidding aside, Rawlings says the Pizza Hut summer promotions are really going to drive demand. "Pizza Hut is such a large user of cheese that when we increase demand with a popular product such as The Insider pizza, it can actually create some regional pressures on cheese production." But all this is good news for dairy farmers, says Rawlings. "Increased demand from the world's largest cheese user obviously is welcomed by the dairy industry, but we thought we'd have some fun with it."

The Pizza Hut ads are helping to generate public excitement around the new pizza promotion. The dairy checkoff works closely with Pizza Hut and other national restaurant chains to encourage the use of more cheese in their menu offerings.

Dairy Management Inc., PRNewswire