Even though the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), along with the U.S. Senate, recently introduced legislation to boost the prices of dairy products this year, block cheese prices held steady last week, averaging just under $1.27 per pound through the first quarter of the year. The final price closed at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Friday. The steady cheese prices were good news to both chain franchise chain pizzerias and smaller independent operators who have been struggling to keep menu prices from rising.
In bit of pizzeria good news on Wall Street, shares in Pizza Hut, Chuck E. Cheese, California Pizza Kitchen and Pizza Inn were all up from the previous week’s closing prices. Less fortunate were Domino's and Papa John's, with both stocks falling for the last week of March .
Even better news for Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s was their ranking as the top three national pizza brands as determined by the annual Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index. The Loyalty Index ranks the brands on factors that consumers use to compare and buy products and services. In the most recent ranking report, Brand Keys found customer loyalty at Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s, to be the highest. Little Caesars, Godfather’s, Round Table and Chuck E. Cheese followed closely behind. The numbers also showed that all of the national pizzerias enjoy relatively high customer loyalty ratings, especially when compared to other restaurant types.