Papa John's New Menu Items Have Nothing To Do With Pizza

While pizza may have originated in Italy, the cheese and sauce-slathered dish has become one of America's favorite foods. In fact, the Washington Post reported that people across the U.S. devour "3 billion pizzas" each year. And every American pizza lover is sure to have a chain they always go to for a slice of thin and crispy pizza. But although many may choose Pizza Hut or Little Caesars as their ride-or-die pizza joint, Papa John's is easily one of America's most recognizable pizza chains.

But now the U.S.'s fourth most popular pizza producer (per Statista) is releasing a new menu lineup — and it's not a new kind of pizza. While this may be raising alarms for the pie-obsessed, longtime Papa John's fans may have actually anticipated the nationwide debut of this product. Last year, Papa John's oven-baked bowls were tested exclusively in seven states and it seems they performed well with customers because, according to a press release, they will soon be available nationwide.

Everything you need to know about Papa Bowls

Papa Bowls, per an official press release, are composed of "vegetables, juicy meats, melty cheeses," plus "signature sauces." Every Papa Bowl is heated in the oven and has no crust or bread of any kind in its ingredient list. The bowls come in three flavor options (per Restaurant Business Magazine): The Italian Meats Trio consists of an assortment of meat and cheese topped with both Alfredo and pizza sauces; Chicken Alfredo is composed of grilled chicken, vegetables, and cheese with Alfredo and parmesan sauces; and Garden Veggie, a vegetarian option that includes mushrooms, spinach, green and banana peppers, as well as garlic parmesan. Customers can also mix and match ingredients to make their own bowls.

According to a statement from Papa John's Senior Vice President of Menu Strategy and Product Innovation, Papa Bowls are Papa John's most recent effort to help increase the company's appeal to customers by offering more menu options. Considering that the pizza chain revealed its locations don't all offer the same discounts depending on the markets they're in, the move to release the non-pizza menu items nationwide seems notable.

However, Papa Bowls won't be on the official menu until August 22, and while members of Papa John's rewards program will get to savor the new menu lineup early, they still won't be able to try a Papa Bowl until August 15. So only time will tell how much new foot traffic the non-pizza products will earn the chain.