BOSTON, Jan. 14 // PRNewswire // -- Following a highly successful market test, Uno Chicago Grill(R) will offer its new, gluten-free pizza nationally. Uno(R) is the first national casual dining chain to offer a gluten-free pizza and received very positive feedback from guests who suffer from celiac disease, which affects approximately one percent of the population.
In fact, word-of-mouth reaction from the gluten-free community during the northeastern market test prompted the company to advance the timetable for a national rollout.
"Food allergies are a very serious, sometimes life-threatening, issue for many Americans," notes Uno CEO Frank Guidara. "Pizza is our signature product, and we wanted to offer a gluten-free pizza so all of our guests could enjoy it when dining at Uno."
"Consumer reaction was so positive in the gluten-free community that our restaurants began receiving requests to carry the new pizza," noted Richard Hendrie, senior vice president, marketing, Uno Chicago Grill. "Because the demand was so strong, we decided to pull out all the stops to get the gluten-free pizza into our 200-plus locations as quickly as possible."
Recently lauded as America's Healthiest Chain Restaurant, Uno has added gluten-free cheese and pepperoni pizzas to what is already one of the most extensive gluten-free menus available for a casual dining chain. This is good news to the estimated three million Americans diagnosed with celiac disease, as well as an additional seven million Americans who have a wheat intolerance or allergy and rely on gluten-free foods. While awareness of celiac disease is rising, an estimated 97 percent of those who have it remain undiagnosed.
Guidara explained that it took over a year of research and development to find just the right recipe for a brand that is known for its iconic pizza. "While we want to meet the needs of guests with allergies, we never forget that we are about great taste and choice, and that means developing new dishes that are healthful without sacrificing great flavor."
Uno Chicago Grill works closely with its Nutrition Advisory Board, which meets quarterly to discuss trends and solutions to improve the quality and nutritional value of its menu. Guidara oversees the Advisory Board and brings his expertise as a member of the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Roundtable.
According to the Gluten Intolerance Group, surveys show that about 15 to 25 percent of consumers report looking for gluten-free products, far more than need to.
Uno boasts a number of healthy firsts, including being the first national restaurant chain to eliminate artificial trans-fats and to increase menu and nutritional transparency via nutrition information centers located in their restaurants. The company's gluten-free menu has 20 items ranging from entrees, salads, sides and desserts. For guest convenience and safety, Uno clearly labels menu items with ingredients that are linked to the most common food allergies, such as fish/shellfish, soy, tree nuts/peanuts, egg, milk and wheat/gluten.
This release was issued through eReleases(TM).
SOURCE Pizzeria Uno Corporation