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'Social Listening' Led to Pig's Blood Pizza

It was a big hit for Pizza Hut Taiwain
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2021 5:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Pizza Hut in Taiwan harnessed the power of social media to create a truly unique pizza topped with preserved eggs and a snack cake made with pig's blood. The "Cilantro Century Egg Pig's Blood Cake Pizza" was invented after the company searched social media for the most talked-about foods and came up with "word clouds of potential new ingredients," Bloomberg reports. When it unveiled the creation at the end of June to a skeptical public, Pizza Hut said that while the ingredients may seem to clash, "once melted mozzarella cheese ties them together, the explosion in your mouth is better than you had imagined," reports Taiwan News.

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"We leveraged social listening to understand customers’ preferences," Antony Leung, general manager of Pizza Hut Taiwan, tells Bloomberg. "Online data also told us that Taiwan customers value local flavors and a food sensation." The "pig's blood cake" part is certainly local: Taiwan News describes it as a "street delicacy" made from pig's blood, sticky rice, powdered peanut butter, and cilantro. The pizza received mixed reviews—some said it was a disappointment, some said the ingredients combined much better than expected, and others said it only worked when chili sauce was added. It still became Pizza Hut Taiwan's fastest-selling pizza ever, breaking a record set by a durian pizza in 2019, helped by the fact that demand for food deliveries soared during the country's recent COVID lockdown. (Read more pizza stories.)

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