Papa Bowls put the focus on Papa Johns premium toppings

Papa Bowls, photo provided by Papa John's
Papa Bowls, photo provided by Papa John's /

At Papa Johns one statement is served with every pizza and is on every box. The simple idea of Better Ingredients Better Pizza is more than superlative language. It is promise to every customer that each bite delivers the flavor that people expect. With the new Papa Bowls, it is time to grab the fork because Papa Johns might have just topped itself.

Innovating the pizza slice may not be as easy as it seems. While cheese, pepperoni, and the classic deluxe pizza will always be a top choice, there are only so many ways that pie can serve up something new. Beyond stuffing the crust or maybe changing the sauce, how can a pizza brand toss in innovation.

Recently, Papa Johns announced that it would bring Papa Bowls to its menu. The idea is simple. All the toppings of those “Better Ingredients” are served in a bowl with sauce. Even though the Papa Johns dough will always be craveable, these bowls satisfy in a big way.

The Papa Bowls come in three flavors: Italian Meats Trio, Chicken Alfredo and Garden Veggie. In addition, guests can customize their own bowl. From a hearty bite to a bounty of vegetables, these bowls can be enjoyed on their own, an addition to a pizza or served however people please.

Recently, Scott Rodriguez, Papa Johns Senior Vice President of Menu Strategy and Product Innovation spoke to FoodSided about the new Papa Bowls. During the taste test, it was hard to put the fork down, but the bold flavors are just part of the story.

Rodriguez shares that the company found “there was an opportunity for us to build and to expand into something that wasn’t necessarily an exact pizza offering. With the bowls, guests are still getting the indulgence and flavors of the pizza without the crust.”

Having enjoyed these bowls, they seem to expand the menu in a smart way. Building on the ingredients that set the brand apart in the pizza game, the flavor delivers. Specifically on the veggie, the addition of the banana peppers adds a nice tangy note to the juicy tomatoes and sweet onions. It blends the familiar and the different which makes each bite exciting.

With the Italian Meats Trio, it is a hearty option. Beyond the pepperoni and meatballs, it is the combination of the pizza and alfredo sauces that really pushes the flavor in each bite. In some ways, it might open the possibilities to a new pizza option, too.

When asked, Rodriguez agreed that it could help that family pizza dilemma. He explained that it can be those extra veggies that parents want or the hearty bowl of meats that the guys cannot resist.

In addition, Rodriguez said that the Papa Bowls could even be two meals in one. Given the size and loaded amount of ingredients, they lend themselves to leftovers. A second meal served over pasta, quinoa or another grain is a possibility.

Looking at the three options, Rodriguez shared that Papa Johns knew it would do a hearty meat and a veggie option. But, the chicken alfredo has proved to be a popular choice. From the fresh spinach to the combination of flavors, he believes that the non-pizza flavor option has found its audience.

Also, Rodriguez shared that the company was not originally planning on a customizable option. But, after some consideration, guests wanted that choice. It could lead people to making order after order.

While the new bowls expanded the menu, the team appreciates that new options need to be budget friendly. Priced at $7.99 a bowl, there is great value. Given the size and the price, it is an easy dinner, addition, or just because order.

Ready to get that taste for yourself? The Papa Bowls are available nationally on August 22. Papa Rewards members can get a first taste starting August 15.

Hungry to try this new Papa Johns menu item? Which bowl combination makes you hungry?