API Heritage Month: Asian culture inspires menu innovation across the world

May 17, 2023
May 17, 2023

As Papa Johns continues to expand its global footprint, our teams have been diligently working to deliver on our promise of better to our customers all over the world. During Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we want to share how the company is Innovating to Win in some of our Asian markets by highlighting four menu innovations that were inspired by Asian culture, holidays, flavors and weather.


Chinese New Year Red Crust Cheddar Pizza 2023 – China


The Chinese New Year, also referred to as the Lunar New Year, is one of the most important celebrations for Eastern and Southeastern Asian cultures. The New Year begins with the first new moon that occurs between the end of January and spans over the following 15 days until the full moon arrives. During this celebration, people come together to move past any negativity from the previous year and welcome in the new one with positivity.

For each Chinese New Year, Papa Johns develops a special pizza that brings people together to celebrate the holiday, and the ingredients are strategically chosen to create a unique interpretation of the celebration. For the 2023 Chinese New Year Celebration, Papa Johns launched the Red Crust Cheddar Pizza. Red symbolizes luck and is the primary color of the Chinese New Year season, and the golden color created by the cheddar cheese signifies prosperity for the coming year.


Chinese New Year Beef Pizza 2021 – China


Each Chinese (or Lunar) New Year is represented by one of 12 zodiac animals. In 2021, the zodiac animal associated with the Chinese New Year celebration was the ox. Papa Johns was inspired by this animal and created the Beef Pizza. This pizza is symbolic of the Chinese New Year because the word “beef” in Chinese is pronounced “Niu,” which is similar to the meaning of “being prosperous,” “strong” and “great.”


Big Catch Pizza – China


Launched more than a decade ago, the Big Catch Pizza has been a staple on the Chinese market’s menu for many years and is still a fan-favorite pizza. It features many flavorful ingredients that are popular in China including tuna, shrimp and wasabi sauce. What makes it so popular is the balanced flavor profile and the high-quality ingredients.


Snowball Pizza 2016 – Korea


The Snowball Pizza was first launched in the Korean market in 2016 and is now a recurring limited time offering each holiday season. Its unique concept is inspired by Korea’s winter season, which is typically snowy with the average temperature ranging between 14 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This pizza includes meatballs, cream cheese sauce and sugar powder – which gives it its snowball-like appearance.