It may seem like a stoner's dream but, these days, more outrageous is often seen as better - food topped with extreme amounts of meat or cheese, food inspired by snacks from the long-gone past, and food that combines what has long been considered uncombinable can all do wonders for a company's image and social media presence.
The latest chain to launch this type of product is Buffalo Wild Wings -- the Atlanta-based chicken wing chain launched a pizza topped with boneless chicken wings.
Instead of the traditional tomato sauce, the Buffalo Boneless Bar Pizza has a base of ranch dressing and blue and mozzarella cheeses. The toppings are boneless wings coated in the chain's Medium Buffalo Sauce, pickled hot peppers, and chopped green onions.
The Honey BBQ Boneless Bar Pizza is topped with mozzarella and cheddar jack cheeses, boneless wings in its Honey BBQ sauce, bacon crumbles and pickled hot peppers with a Medium and Honey BBQ sauce drizzle.
Chicken Wings On A Pizza
The pizzas, Buffalo tells its customers, are designed specifically for the upcoming football season this fall -- they are an answer to the wings-or-pizza questions many fans ask themselves whenever a game is on.
"Buffalo Wild Wings is the ultimate football destination for a legendary gameday experience," Rita Patel, Buffalo Wild Wings' chief marketing officer, said in a statement. "With wings tossed in any of our 26 sauces and seasoning, 30-plus beer taps, wall-to-wall TVs, and now Boneless Bar Pizza, why would fans choose to go anywhere else?"
The pizzas are in personal size and will be sold for $9.99 each at participating locations.
Buffalo Wild Wings also ended the announcement with a reminder to its customers to "drink responsibly" if indulging in the drinks that usually accompany game day snacks.
These types of over-the-top foods have become very popular in recent years. From Yum! Brands (YUM) KFC's Double Down (a "sandwich" where the bread has been replaced with two pieces of fried chicken) or Burger King of Restaurant Brands International QSR's Mac-and-Cheetos.
In many ways, these are menu items that reflect (and, often, are specifically designed for) the internet. The chains want customers to react and reshare these items on social media. In the "no bad publicity" principle, whether they truly them like them or are resharing out of disgust or shock that the brand really "went there" is irrelevant.
Once the product goes viral, the fans do a fast-food chain's marketing for it.
Boneless Chicken Wing Pizza: A Marketing Strategy?
"These are part of a long tradition of companies creating new, slightly outrageous, fast food and snack food combinations – more cheese, more meat, more layers, adding sauces, [or] Cheetos, for crunch and a pop of flavor," food historian Ashley Rose Young told BBC in 2019.
But at other times, an experiment can also become a favorite and a regular on a menu. Buffalo has also started embracing frequent collaborations with snack food companies. Back in April, the chain partnered with Mondelez (MDLZ) 's Frito-Lay for wings with the Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho Flavored Sauce.
The chicken wing chain has also been running with the sports theme and designing snacks specifically for game days. Back in June, it launched Bird Dawgs or chicken tenders served on a brioche bun hotdog-style.