The clever minds behind gourmet pizza franchise Hell have unleashed a new brand into the Wellington market: Baked frozen pizza.
While the new range is in the same food category as its famous sibling, Baked is a new company with only a small Hell logo on the packaging to show consumers it’s a brand they can trust.
Co-founder and owner Stu McMillan says branching into frozen pizza has been on the books for years, but the timing hasn’t been right until now.
“We [co-owner Callum Davies] sold the business and bought it back and went through a bit of a rough time in 2010 and 2011. It’s been a six-year project turning the business around.
“Right now we’ve never been in a better position and because everything is going so well, we can do this.”
Baked started rolling out pizza in a soft launch months ago, starting with three Wellington supermarkets. They have now expanded to 20 Wellington supermarkets and are set to expand nationwide.
The company has been working with Foodstuffs and will launch the products with them.
Frozen pizza possessed a good challenge because the perceptions of the pizzas already on the market are low.
“The category itself is really broken and has been for years, frozen pizzas are at the bottom of the food-chain. People seem to trust frozen meals but not frozen pizzas.”
McMillan says consumers have become more knowledge about what is in food, and if a frozen pizza is extremely cheap, they will be uncertain of the quality.
Following in the tradition of Hell, only top quality ingredients are used in the new Baked range.
Free-range meat is used and 100 percent real New Zealand mozzarella is a staple in every pizza, rather than the cheaper cheese blends often used to cut costs. To ensure quality and freshness, all pizzas are frozen at the proofing stage, rather than par-Baked.
The range currently has three options. Pineapple Express (Hawaiian pizza), Morepork (with ham, chorizo and salami) and the Make and Bake, which McMillan says, is the most exciting product in the range.
The Make and Bake is a simple cheese pizza which Baked invites consumers to add their own toppings to. McMillan says it is the perfect way to rid the fridge of leftovers and save on food wastage.
“People have a lot of wastage so why not throw it on a pizza for the kids lunches? It could also make cooking with young kids fun.”
Baked is a way to reach a bigger market than is possible to achieve with Hell. While there might not be a Hell in every town, soon Baked could be available in every Pak’n Save and New World in the country.
The new brand taps into a new market, McMillan says.
“They are different customers, the person who buys pizza in supermarkets is different to the people who order take-away.
“Usually frozen pizzas cater to one or two people, rather than a big group of people who will order Hell.”
Baked will roll out around the country in the next few months. To cater for the growing business, a new plant and factory is being built in Seaview, Wellington.