Pizza Pizza announces Spring Water Crust

Toronto-based Pizza Pizza, a 250-outlet pizza delivery firm that has built a reputation as an innovative marketer, has launched a pizza dough prepared using spring water, rather than tap water as is customary in the industry.Pizza Pizza claims in a press...

Toronto-based Pizza Pizza, a 250-outlet pizza delivery firm that has built a reputation as an innovative marketer, has launched a pizza dough prepared using spring water, rather than tap water as is customary in the industry.

Pizza Pizza claims in a press release that its All Natural Spring Water Crust, introduced this month in all of its pizzas, is ‘lighter, fresher [and] better tasting because it’s made with pure spring water without any of the chemicals found in common tap water.’

As well, the company says the use of spring water will eliminate the problems it has experienced with fluctuations in the mineral content of harder, chemically treated tap water.

Despite Pizza Pizza’s insistence it has come up with a superior product, the new dough has barely gotten a rise out of rival pizza makers.

Frank Macri, franchise director for Pizza Nova, a 48-chain outfit operating in the Toronto area, says that if tap water has a detrimental effect on pizza dough, ‘we haven’t noticed it.’

Michael Gelmon, vice-president, legal and acquisition with the Gelmon Group of Calgary, the company that holds the Canadian franchise rights to Domino’s Pizza, says ‘as far as I am aware, water purity is not an issue.

Gelmon, whose company operates 163 outlets across Canada, says Pizza Pizza’s move to spring water would appear to have more to do with marketing than pizza making.

Kevin Kisil, director of operations at 241 Pizza, a Toronto-based company that operates 120 Ontario pizza outlets under the 241 name and another 40 under the Gino’s Pizza banner, says he, too, is unaware of problems posed by tap water.

But Kisil says that in recent months several 241 franchises have begun conducting experiments with spring water to determine if there is a difference.

Kisil says the franchises have been advertising their use of spring water, but as far as he is aware, there has been no difference in taste.

The 241 franchises make their own dough on site, so the tap water they use can vary from location to location.

Pizza Pizza, which began to mention its use of spring water last week in regular radio and flyer advertising, makes all its dough in a central commissary, located in Etobicoke, Ont.

The dough is then shipped to the company’s retail outlet for rolling and cooking.

The commissary receives its tap water from the Metro Toronto Works Department, which uses water from Lake Ontario.

The spring water is being supplied by Canada Pure Natural Spring Water, which gets its water from a spring in Feversham, Ont.

Hiroshi Taniguchi, director of water supply for Metro Toronto Works, says ‘I would be surprised if spring water had any effect on pizza dough.’

Taniguchi says that while Toronto tap water does contain chlorine and minerals in trace amounts, but adds ‘there is very little fluctuation in the amounts.’

Pizza Pizza operates primarily in Ontario, but also has outlets in Quebec and Central America.

Lorne Austin, executive vice-president of the company, says he is unqualified to compare the chemical make-up of the two waters, but he adds, ‘to my understanding, [spring water] is a purer substance than tap water.’

Austin says that many people have tried the new pizza dough and declared it superior tasting.

He says Pizza Pizza will heavily advertise its use of spring water to ‘give ourselves a unique position in the market place.’

Pizza Pizza was one of the first fast-food delivery companies in the world to introduce a one-number, centralized telephone order system.

It was also the first Canadian pizza company to launch a 30-minutes-or-free delivery guarantee, which eventually became a commonplace in the industry.