The Real Reason People Stopped Buying Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza

The American public, and likely the public at large, don't necessarily have immensely picky palates. People eat with their stomachs rather than their eyes—or camera phones. TV dinners were normal evening meals, once upon a time, growing to other frozen meals and food selections.

But TV dinners and frozen foods aren't the only convenient sources for meals that people do not have to make themselves. Fast food, including pizza conglomerates like Pizza Hut, Domino's and Papa John's continue to compete with easy-to-make heat-and-eat freezer meals for the hearts and stomachs of customers looking for a quick dinner everyone can enjoy.

Pizza Hut has long been a frontrunner in the pizza delivery game, and with their quick-make pies and variety of toppings, the chain is a got-to for the end of long days when you don't want to step foot in front of your stove. The company's old franchise buildings have even became popular road trip stops, partly thanks to the Used to be a Pizza Hut blog, and Pizza Hut buildings of yesteryear can be found in random locations across the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

Over the years, Pizza Hut has tried many tactics and ingredients to make sure their pies and other menu items stand out among the pizza chain competition. So what is it that makes these ingredients and concepts sink or swim? Let's take a look at the infamous Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza to investigate.

Introduction of the Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza and other innovations

Pizza Hut's innovative concepts have given them clout in the world of crazy menu items. These include options like the pizza-sandwich mash-up called the P'Zolo, which is essentially a calzone, and a variety of stuffed crust pizzas: mac 'n' cheese, cheeseburger, hash bites and even marmite! More recently, the Hut even jumped on the realistic-looking and tasting meatless meat bandwagon with their Beyond Meat Pan Pizzas. But one of their most popular concoctions was the hot dog stuffed crust pizza, also known as the hot dog bites pizza.

The pizza, according to Pizza Hut's blogsite, originated in Asia, leaving Americans waiting and hungry to try it. Fans and social media moguls who tried it gave it rave reviews when it first came out, marveling at the meal that shouldn't work, but somehow made people happy. Interestingly enough, from Asia it actually first went to the UK and Canada before finally making its way to the US almost three years later.

Response to Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Stuffed Crust/Bites pie was mixed

While it seems like every football game viewer's cheat day meal dream come true, others were skeptical about the Pizza Hut Hot Dog Stuffed Crust creation. Business Insider reviewed the pie, which came complete with pepperoni on to and, mini encrusted hot dogs around the edges with French's mustard for dipping, and was the option of pretzel dough instead of traditional. The publication reported that while it wasn't as bad as they were afraid it might be, they did find it overly salty in most places, especially when utilizing the pretzel dough. And there wasn't much that was special about it: "The pizza portion itself was fairly standard Pizza Hut pizza with a soggy crust," a tester told Business Insider.

While certainly not as messy or "out there" as others like the cheeseburger crust, and certainly not as innovative as the pizza box projector, as well as others listed on Delish, the hot dog crust quickly lost its charm. People began to question its integrity and whether they should buy it to try it in the first place.

Why the Hot Dog Stuffed Crust didn't work very well

In addition to Business Insider, which provided evidence that Pizza Hutt's Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza was simply lackluster, The Chicago Tribune review wasn't much better. They referred to the pie as nothing more than a cheap trick and "gimmick," stating "the hot dog experience is separate from the pizza experience." The Tribune also suggested that hot dog slices would be better served as a topping, leaving a normal crust while creating a flavorful Frankenstein of a pizza instead.

The Pizzle review also notes that flavor and texture-wise, the Hot Dog Stuffed Crust pizza was disappointing: The report stated that the "pig-in-a-pizza-crust-blanket nugget is tough and chewy" and the pizza itself was drowning in oil. 

Overall, the marketing of Hot Dog Stuffed Crust pizza was great, but it couldn't deliver when it came to taste. The output was just not what people were expecting or special enough to last, no matter the cult fan base it may have built.

According to Eat This, Not That!, the Pizza Hut Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza was among more than six other discontinued menu items from the franchise, joining the likes of the Triple Decker Pizza, Lasagna-Deep-Dish Monster, the Priazzo, and even the salad bar you'd once find in stores. And while the decision to remove the hot dog creation from their menu may not have been every fan's favorite, it seems like it may have been for the best.