Society for Case Research MBAA 2021

Experience level: 
Intermediate
Intended Audience: 
Faculty
Authors: 
Nikolaus T. Butz, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Marissa M. Warzynski, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Brooke E. Brewbaker, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Emily E. Gruber, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point

A Company Named $5 Pizza: Is Using the Price as a Namesake a Timeless Enticement or Dangerous Overpromise?

The origins of pizza as we know it today—a combination of bread, cheese, and tomatoes—can be traced to seventeenth century bakers in Naples, Italy. Sold for as little as a penny a slice, pizza was the food of choice for much of the Neapolitan poor. Although pizza is no longer considered strictly food for the poor, its economic attainability remains an important brand element of many contemporary pizza sellers. In fact, startups have gone so far as to incorporate the price of their pizza in the company’s name. One such example of this is the Minnesota-based chain, $5 Pizza. Since its founding in 2008, economic recession has greatly eroded the purchasing power of the U.S. Dollar. So much so that a dollar today can buy only about 82% of what it could buy then. To date, $5 Pizza has been able to deliver on its brand promise, however, the profitability of such a value-priced offering remains unknown. Can pizza today still be made for less than $5?