Papa John’s to roll out whole wheat pizza crusts

CHICAGO, May 14 (Reuters) – Papa John’s International Inc (PZZA.O: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Wednesday it will soon begin nationwide sales of a whole-wheat pizza crust, a move that comes as pizza sellers are striving to spark flagging traffic.

The company said it would be the first national pizza chain to roll out a 100 percent whole-wheat crust when it debuts the product at all of its roughly 2,700 domestic restaurants on May 26. Customers can order the whole wheat crust on any of its large-size pizzas at no additional cost.

Restaurant companies are responding to consumer demand for healthier menu items by offering more natural and organic food.

The company did not say how the introduction of the whole wheat crust will affect its bottom line. It also declined to say what it would spend to promote the new crust.

The announcement comes as YUM! Brands Inc (YUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) plans to roll out a natural pizza product next year.