Pizza Hut. Papa John’s. Domino’s. While all of them have experimented to some degree or another in the last year or two with releasing new products or offers (Domino’s and Pizza Hut much more so than Papa John’s) – the core business remains traditional pizza. That’s why reports that Domino’s has totally revamped its pizza formula, to include a new crust, new sauce and new blend of cheeses is huge news, akin to McDonald’s reformulating the Big Mac or Burger King revamping the Whopper.

Domino's Pepperoni
(New Domino’s Pizza in full color)

Consumerist is reporting on the recipe change as well, with info from Domino’s explaining:

“2010 will be our 50th year in the business, and we are kicking it off with the most aggressive promotion in the history of our company,” said Domino’s Chairman and CEO David A. Brandon. “This is the biggest product introduction we’ve done since…well, pizza.”

The primary changes to the pizza are the crust, sauce and cheese:

  • Crust – A garlic seasoned crust with parsley baked to a golden brown.
  • Sauce – Sweeter, bolder tomato sauce with a medley of herbs and a red pepper kick.
  • Cheese – Shredded cheese made with 100% real mozzarella and flavored with just a hint of provolone.

The decision to change the basic recipe for Domino’s pizza is a bold one for sure. As USA Today notes:

Analysts were hard-pressed to name a major chain that has tried such a change to its core product. “I don’t know of any (restaurant) company that has attempted this,” says consultant Howard Gordon.

The new pizza recipe is based off of several years of testing, and seems to be a high risk/high reward situation. While some loyalists may not go for the new taste, the early buzz I’ve seen on Twitter is very positive – people are digging the new sauce, and seem to think the new crust is one of the better crusts they’ve had.  There is strong potential here for Domino’s to re-introduce its pizza to the public at large, and potentially win over some new customers who may not have liked the taste of the old pizza. More interestingly, the pizza recipe change represents the strategic move of listening too, and responding to consumer complaints, demands and preferences. You aren’t crazy about Domino’s pizza? Well ok then, we’ll do some research and make it better for you.

The new pizza recipe has already popped up in most stores this week, and will be in all of them by the end of the month.  I haven’t tried the new pizza yet, but hope too in the next few days.  Any So Good readers tried the new Domino’s pizza recipe? If so, or when you do, please let us know what you think!

Full Disclosure: Domino’s is a client of mine and my employer, and I provide them with social media consulting and strategic advice.

78 Responses

  1. RobertL

    For all the naysayers of New Domino’s Pizza, take a quick look at your other options from major chains. Papa Johns is Ok and you say the new Pizza is greasy…come on. Pizza Hut is Greasy. As a former Pizza Hut lover, the New Domino’s Pizza is good enough to pull me away from Pizza Hut. Great Job Domino’s. Also, the sauce is not too spicy, its one component of what was needed to fix a bland piece of cardboard

  2. Jo

    Awful! Way too much garlic and salt! Couldn’t tell if it was sweet or not or spicy hot or not… couldn’t get past the garlic. My husband and I had 2 slices each out of a large and thrw the rest away. YUCK!

  3. Kevin

    Too spicy? The pizza I got was incredibly bland. The sauce is completely without flavor. Domino’s has just sealed it’s fate. They’re done.

  4. Emile

    The pizza is a huge disappointment. It’s funny how their the adds say their pizza taste like cardboard but they decided not to change the recipe. They just doused it in garlic sauce. It’s kinda like putting steak sauce on a bad steak.

  5. Ellen

    I love the new pizza! I don’t understand why people think it’s too “spicy” or “garlicky”, but then again, these are the same people who grew up on bland food. The crust really makes this pizza a notch above the other chains.

  6. Nicki

    Holy Spicy and gritty….each bite your teeth grit on nothing but crushed red pepper out of a can….horrible! Will never order again.

  7. Wade

    OMG… the sauce is WAY too sweet! I have never tasted a sauce that sweet. It ruins the whole experience. Too bad.

  8. ejp

    For 20 years I was a loyal Dominos customer precisely BECAUSE I liked the fact their crust wasn’t greasy like every cheap hole in the wall pizza joint I was familiar with. Those who call it “Cardboard” must have an obsession with wanting to come away with bad breath all the time and slimy fingers, beacuse I absolutely hate the new crust, so much that I will never order a Dominos Pizza again for the rest of my life. And I frankly find it insulting to be told by Dominos in their advertising that for 20 years I’ve been enjoying a lousy product.

  9. Pete

    I loved the old pizza for 20 years and now they ruined. I ordered the Dominos for ever friday night for the past 20 years and will never order again. I’m switching to Pappa Johns until they bring back the old recipe.

  10. Jorge

    The folks who are saying that the pizza is too spicy have no taste whatsoever and should stick to wonder bread and ketchup
    “pizzas”… maybe those disgusting mass market frozen “pizza roll” things. The new pizza is simply awesome and tastes like something you would get at one of your better neighborhood mom and pop pizzarias. I am actually really surprised that they changed the pizza from the bland fare for the mindless sheep to something that is actually delicious!! Hope it lasts.

  11. Peter

    We decided to give Domino’s a try last night, we haven’t eaten Domino’s for years because the pizza was, well not very good bad sauce, cheese was not very good, and very greasy. So we ordered it last night and it has improved alot! We enjoyed it and the change, changed my perception of Dominos unless they go back to the old recipe ofcourse. Way to go Dominos you are atleast trying and have surpassed greasy Pizza Hut and the terrible tasting Papa John’s.

  12. stew

    Hands down the worst pizza ever. too garlicky, oily and smells horrible. made me sh*t the whole next day, and only had a slice and a half! I threw the rest out.
    get a spinning pizza cooker and a frozen or homemade pizza, great $ saver.

  13. vicki

    Me and my husband were excited to try the new Dominos pizza. It was all over the commercials, and so many people were trying it, so might as well give it a try. We were both surprised! Not in a good way. It was very greasy, and the cheese was very weird. I only ate about 2 slices, and I couldn’t eat anymore.
    So we wanted a refund, and they happily gave it to us. I am disappointed, because I thought this was a good change. The pizza overall tastes very very greasy, and the cheese didnt taste like real cheese.
    Ever since then, me and my husband haven’t ordered at Dominos….

  14. Me

    Dominos still gives you the option (via their website and over the phone as well I’m sure) to choose the original sauce. Gotta give them props for trying something new, and getting rid of the cardboard I have heard anyways, I still have not tried it. But, I have pulled up the site to order, and there was the 2 options you could choose for the sauce. So, yeah maybe I’ll try it later , but I ♥ Pizza Hut♥ so uh…yep

  15. Jim

    I don’t know what half of these people are talking about… I hated Dominos old pizza recipe, but their new specialty pizzas are some of the best pizzas that I have tasted in awhile, and coming from New York, and being a New Yorker, I know good pizza! Good work Dominos! The new crusts and pizzas are excellent! Your Philly Cheese Steak, Pacific Veggie, and Buffalo Chicken pizzas are heaven! Quality ingredients, quality taste, and great new recipes! I usually hate BBQ sauce, but was shocked at how good your BBQ Chicken specialty pizza was… A good decision, to change from that crap you were selling as pizza before, this stuff is excellent…

    And for those who are claiming their sauce is too this, or this is too greasy, go to their website, you can literally customize your pizza in any way imaginable! And their pasta bread bowls… Mmmm!

    I just can’t believe how many negative reviews there are, considering everyone I have gotten to try it… ALL NEW YORKERS, who live and breed pizza, loved it!

  16. ejp

    Sorry, the new pizza sucks and is only good for those with an obsession for wanting bad breath and slimy fingers.

  17. Scott

    I have eatin’ alot of pizza. I did like Domino’s pizza at one time. When ya’ll re-did the sauce your pizza SUCKS. I ate it for a long time with the old sauce now it is too sweet. You should offer the old sauce to what was a loyal comuster. Everytime I ask for old sauce the places say we don’t have it anymore. I have tried it several times since ya’ll changed the sauce. I will never eat it again with the new sauce. And another thing is it kinda’ sucks you tell me that you made a bad pizza for so long how did ya’ll stay in business. Now, it is a; sweet, greasy, round piles of dough. People and places make choices your SUCKS and you lost a comuster for life or what is the rest of mine.

  18. Vonni

    I never really ate Domino’s before their makeover, and it’s… alright.
    I’m not a fan of the sauce, it’s got a little too much spicy and sweet for a pizza sauce. Whatever happened to savory?
    The cheese is skimped on and the toppings, (PARTICULARLY BACON) seem to fall off.
    Also, the pizza always seems as though the toppings have been carelessly skewn onto the pizza, so that they burn. I shouldn’t really be able to see the sauce clearly.
    The crust is the only good and unique thing, really. It’s decent, but I’d order Papa John’s instead. It’s just so much cheaper at Domino’s.

  19. rk

    during the summer i decided to get Domino’s, i use to love it as a kid but when i moved i switched to Double Double and haven’t had Domino’s for 10 years. Over all it was horrible, the sauce is nowhere near as good as it use to be, way too sweet, and whatever oven they use doesn’t melt the cheese properly.

    I’m from Canada, so i don’t know if their recipe is the same as in the sates, but it’s definitely not the same one they use to have.

  20. Robert chapman

    What is wrong with dominoes and Pizza Hut changing their sauce to sweeter, it is nasty, now have to search all over for real pizza. I really hope little ceasers doesn’t change.

  21. Skye

    Darn pizza sauce tried to melt my teeth!!!
    I enjoyed the new hand-tossed crust when that was introduced, but that new ‘spicy’ sauce is waaaay too fierce for me. I went through 2 cans of soda trying to get down 2 slices while I swear my mouth was smoking. I cannot eat it. I have difficulty believing this is a family favorite as no child I know could endure that burn. Pizza is not supposed to be painful. The new crust won me away from Papa John’s, but that sauce has sent me right back again. I will not be ordering from Domino’s again.

  22. dano8567

    the original pizza sauce and recipe is what dominated the pizza market in the 80s, I worked as a driver and pizza maker from 85 to 90 cranking out 120 pizzas per hour. we had customers who liked the old sauce so much that they ordered triple sauce. this new recipe sucks, they went against the old saying if it aint broke dont fix, well they fixed a dough and sauce recipe that wasnt’ broken. Do they dominate the market now? No they dont.


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