A promising partnership

To help revitalize pizza sales, the dairy checkoff has partnered with Domino’s Pizza. As a result, other pizza chains, including Pizza Hut and Papa John’s, are taking notice and are offering more cheese-focused promotions.

How does boosting pizza sales help dairy farmers?

According to Jennifer Wing of Dairy Management Inc., which works on behalf of dairy producers, it’s a big deal.

“If every pizza was made with 1 more ounce of cheese, it would use an additional 2.5 billion pounds of milk annually,” Wing notes.

Key Points

• Domino’s American Legends pizzas build cheese sales.

• Dairy producers invested $12 million in Domino’s promotions.

• Other pizza companies have started cheese-focused promos.

Domino’s delivers

Last February, dairy producers partnered with Domino’s Pizza to introduce Domino’s American Legends, six new “generously cheesed” pizzas that use up to 40% more cheese than traditional Domino’s pizzas.

Through the checkoff, dairy farmers have invested $12 million in two years, and Domino’s has invested four to five times more than that to support these permanent menu items that build cheese sales. Domino’s reported a 1% sales increase in the first quarter of 2009.

In June, the chain launched the second phase of Domino’s American Legends, a comprehensive national marketing effort to promote the pizzas, based on the belief that more cheese equals better pizza. Marketing elements to help drive customer traffic and sales include: television and print advertising, in-store and on-the-box promotion messages, unique “house sampling parties” to generate demand for the pizzas, and state and regional local promotion efforts.

In July, Domino’s showed its appreciation to U.S. dairy producers by securing prominent, American Legends-specific advertising on Yahoo’s home page, asking customers to vote for their favorite pizza for a chance to win free Domino’s pizzas for a year. According to Yahoo, its online search engine and network of services has more than 500 million users.

Domino’s also ramped up promotion and online offers for its cheese-friendly menu items at its own Web site — at no additional cost to dairy producers.

Domino’s continues its cheese-friendly efforts, and dairy producers will enhance these efforts through marketing and promotion support.

“These initiatives will not only boost cheese sales, they also will help generate similar promotions in the marketplace that will create additional sales,” Wing says.

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SAY ‘CHEESE’: Domino’s American Legends pizzas use up to 40% more cheese than traditional Domino’s pizzas.

This article published in the February, 2010 edition of WISCONSIN AGRICULTURIST.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2010.