Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

The Real Reason Pizza Hut Just Rolled Out the Extra-Cheesy

It has little to do with taste.

Remember “stuffed-crust” pizza? Donald Trump likely does. In this Pizza Hut ad from the 1990s, the future president demonstrates the “crust-first” method:

Cramming more cheese into products is a hoary and enduring fast-food tactic. Just last month, Pizza Hut announced it will soon be serving pies packed with 25 percent more of the gooey stuff—this time, presumably, without an endorsement from Trump. With splashy Super Bowl ads a couple of years ago, Taco Bell rolled out its “Quesalupa,” which it hailed as the “first shell stuffed with melted pepper jack cheese.” And back in 2010, Domino’s rejiggered its formula to deliver pizza with 40 percent more cheese. 

What gives?

The context for fast food’s fromage mania is a chronic dairy glut. In short, US dairy operations churn out way more product than either US consumers or the global market can bear. Overproduction has pushed prices so low that one milk-processing cooperative recently mailed its members a “chart showing the dismal 2018 milk prices forecast, and a list of suicide prevention hotlines,” NPR reports.

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