Japan’s Pizza Hut is turning to rice to make its pizzas after wheat prices soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
The fast-food chain will start offering a selection of mini-pizzas using rice as a base rather than wheat flour from Aug. 22, with toppings including Ibérico pork and teriyaki chicken. The new range will initially be available for about six weeks but could become a regular menu item if demand is strong.
“We’re always thinking of ways to make our products appealing to Japanese customers, and rice is obviously a perfect fit,” shared Emi Mikado, spokeswoman for Pizza Hut Japan Ltd. “On top of that, we’re seeing this surge in wheat prices.”
Wheat skyrocketed after Russia’s war in Ukraine cut off supplies from one of the world’s major breadbaskets, driving some food producers to mix or switch to cheaper alternatives in their bread, pastries, and pasta, although prices have fallen lately. The rice used by Pizza Hut Japan will be sourced domestically.
The price of rice has been more subdued due to ample production and existing stockpiles. In Japan, the crop provides the added benefit of not having to rely on overseas supply.
Japanese consumers will be able to get three mini-pizzas, a side dish of chicken nuggets, and French fries for 1,350 yen ($9.91).