Why Papa John's Latest Partnership Has The Internet Divided

Oh Papa John's, what have you done? It's bad enough foisting "Papa" John Schnatter and his over-the-top TikTok videos upon an unsuspecting world, but do you really think you're going to win your way back into favor by championing one of the world's most hated pizza toppings? Well, maybe not the world's — after all, it's a big scary planet where some places top pizzas with corn and tuna fish. Still, Papa John's new partnership with Dole can only mean one thing. While Dole sells a variety of different fruit products, they're practically synonymous with just one product: the pineapple. So Papa John's + Dole = you guessed it, one more marketing push designed to convince us that Hawaiian pizza is better than pepperoni. (Ha! As if.)

According to Fox News, this "super Hawaiian" pizza will be topped with Canadian bacon and hickory-smoked bacon along with cheese and Papa John's signature sauce. And pineapple, of course. The pineapple won't come from Hawaii (Dole used to own its own island, but The New York Times says they unloaded it — or uploaded it — to a tech billionaire), but from Thailand and the Philippines. Papa John's assures us their fruit will be "sourced responsibly" and "exceed international standards," so at least there's that. But still. It's pineapple. On pizza. Not the kind of announcement Papa John's could reasonably expect to be greeted with universal shouts of joy, and true to form, on Twitter, the response so far has been... well, mixed.

How do people feel about Papa John's pineapple pizza?

The great pineapple pizza debate is nothing new, seemingly dating back to the first pizza chef who thought, "Hey, fruit, that's almost a vegetable!" Celeb chefs have even weighed in on the topic, with Gordon Ramsay giving it big thumbs-down and Alton Brown adopting a more balanced, not-his-thing-but-he-won't-excommunicate-you-if-you-like-it approach. With Papa John's tweetnouncement about their new pizza comments are, predictably, split between yums and yucks. One anti-pineapple person did, however, remark that if they got one of those pizzas for free, they "might have to eat it" (although apparently without great enthusiasm).

Although Paul Fabre, senior VP of product innovation, has unequivocally stated, "At Papa John's, we believe that pineapple belongs on pizza," fully half of the chain's customers (or at least its poll respondents) felt otherwise in a 2018 Twitter poll. While this means that another half were pro pineapple, the antis were emphatic in voicing their opinions. One Twitter user objected to the topping's authenticity, saying "Putting pineapple on a pizza — or anything — does not make it Hawaiian," while others stuck to succinct comments like "Abomination" and "Never, not even once." The winning comment, however, went to the user who pointed out an obvious parallel, "Would you put pepperoni in your fruit salad?" Who knows, if you're Papa John's, you might. That may well be the next thing they introduce to their menu.