As demonstrated by the Doritos Locos Taco, the poster child of partnerships, good things happen when franchises collaborate with snack brands. Today is an especially good day for the partnership, because today Papa John’s has teamed up with Frito-Lay to launch the Fritos Chili Pizza.
Consisting of beef chili, cheese, tomato and onion, and cheddar and mozzarella cheese – all topped with a layer of Fritos corn chips – it’s definitely not an expected choice for a pizza. But it’s a smart choice that, like Taco Bell’s Frito-Lay partnership, takes advantage of Papa John’s existing beverage partnership with Frito-Lay parent company PepsiCo.
"At Papa John's, we love offering our customers exciting pizzas that add some flavor to each season," said Bob Kraut, Papa John's chief marketing officer, in a press statement announcing the launch. "It seemed like a no-brainer to collaborate with our beverage partner PepsiCo to bring its popular Fritos corn chips snack to our pizza and combine these traditional tailgating fall favorites - chili, cheese and added crunch - with Papa John's signature fresh-dough crust."
Could this be the start of a new trend in the pizza industry? The first Doritos Locos Taco paved the way for a series of new fillings and flavors, which got us thinking about other possible pizza-chip combinations that Papa John’s might consider. Would they pair classics with classics, like pepperoni and Nacho Cheese Doritos? Or would they go more health conscious, like the vegetarian Garden Fresh with whole-grain Garden Salsa SunChips? Or perhaps sweet and savory – Hawaiian BBQ chicken with Honey BBQ Flavor Twist Fritos?
It may or may not happen, but it’s fun to think about it. When we hear about things like shrimp tempura toppings and cheeseburger-stuffed crusts, we always get a little bit jealous about all the inventive off-the-wall pizzas that happen around the world. But for today, and until November 23 when the limited time offer ends, we have at least one quirky pizza all to ourselves.