Domino's aims to capture Indian market with spicy banana pizza
Pizza brand Domino’s has released a spicy banana pizza in India to appease local palates in a bizarre move which has had mixed reactions.
A food tester at the pizza company said he based the new Domino’s menu on local cuisine to increase sales in south India, where bananas are often used in cooking.
As a result of the newly regionalised speciality menus, the pizza producer, which has more than 700 branches in India – making it the largest foreign food chain in the country – released the ‘South Zesty Veggie’ pizza topped with spiced-green bananas, chillies and peppers, as well as the 'Southern Chilli Chicken'.
The company has supported the launch of the new toppings with an extensive regional ad campaign from WPP-owned Contract Advertising.
Narender Jaravta, chief pizza inventor at Domino's India, said he tested hundreds of flavour combinations and put on a lot of weight in his hunt for the perfect pizza, adding: “There are so many flavours you can draw from.”
Harneet Rajpal, marketing head of Dominos India, told the Wall Street Journal: “We studied what south Indian families kept in their fridge, what spices they stacked up on their kitchen shelf, what they ordered when they went out for dinner.”
Some Twitter users took to tweeting their disgust about the fruity pizza.
— Alex von Tunzelmann (@alexvtunzelmann) July 31, 2014
In possibly the biggest food crime since canned spaghetti, India rolls out the banana pizza http://t.co/SsR6HvqVU4 pic.twitter.com/yGHDRTvl6g — David Crawshaw (@davewsj) July 31, 2014
On the otherhand, only a few adventurous types were willing to give the pizza a taste.
— Preetika Rana (@Preetika_Rana) July 31, 2014
Sales of the pizza are reported to be poor but one Domino's employee said: “People are still warming up to the idea, we sell just a couple a day… it’ll take some time.”
Last month, Domino's UK said it had success engaging distracted online audiences with jokes and striking images.