Big Pizza gets ready for its big day

No matter how you slice it, Super Bowl Sunday is pizza’s biggest day of the year. According to the National Restaurant Association, about one in every seven Americans orders takeout or delivery for a Super Bowl gathering. Among adults 18-34, that rises to 22 percent. Of those who order takout or delivery, 58 percent order pizza, 50 percent order chicken wings, and 20 percent order subs or sandwiches. Pizza Hut, the nation’s No. 1 pizza place, plans to deliver almost 2 million pizzas with a week-long marketing push for its new Cheesy Bites pie, which has 28 cheese-stuffed bites instead of a regular crust. Because almost half of all deliveries and carry-outs happen between two hours before and an hour into the game, Pizza Hut’s most important ad of the year is the pre-game one. This year Jessica Simpson reappears with the Muppets, delivering Cheesy Bites to Miss Piggy, which might not be the exact association you want with a product that’s chock full of calories and fat. But research shows that people who order pizza know what they want—and they want a lot of it. Fearing a backlash against Big Pizza a few years ago, Pizza Hut tried to develop a lower-carb product. But even Pizza Hut CMO Tom James admitted that pizza lite was hard to choke down. “And I’ve never met a pizza I couldn’t eat,” he said.