Hell Pizza

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Hell
TypeLimited
IndustryFast food
Founded1996; 26 years ago (1996) in Kelburn, Wellington
HeadquartersNew Zealand
ProductsPizza, Pasta, Salads
Websitehellpizza.com

Hell Pizza is a New Zealand-based pizza chain. It was established in Wellington (Kelburn) in 1996 and has since expanded around New Zealand.

Franchises have also operated at various times in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, South Korea, India and Queensland, Australia.[1]

History[edit]

Hell Pizza was founded by Warren Powell, Callum Davies and Stuart McMullin in 1995, as a pizza shop in Kelburn, Wellington next to Victoria University of Wellington.[2]

The founders sold the New Zealand Master Franchise rights to Tasman Pacific Foods (the New Zealand master franchisee for Burger King) for $15 million in 2006. They purchased the rights back in 2009.[3][4]

In 2009, Hell had 61 stores in New Zealand.[4] It had 6 stores in Brisbane and was planning nine more around South East Queensland. It was also trialing stores in Fulham, London and Dublin, Ireland.[3][4]

In 2012, Hell had 65 stores in New Zealand. It had three stores in South Korea and was planning seven more. It had two stores in Queensland, but eight others had closed. A pizza bar in New Delhi and its stores in London, Dublin and Vancouver were still operating.[1]

In 2016, Hell Pizza had 66 outlets, all in New Zealand.[5]

In 2022, Hell Pizza had 79 outlets, including 28 in Auckland.[6]

Marketing[edit]

The Hell theme is used in the menu. Hell Pizza offers seven standard pizzas which are named after the seven deadly sins[citation needed]. The chain also offers discounted pizzas on Friday the 13th.[7][8]

The company is notable for its controversial advertising and for being the first company in New Zealand to offer online pizza ordering, in 1996.[citation needed] They sponsored a segment on the television show Pulp Sport.

Mocking of Christianity[edit]

A radio advertisement that featured a conversation about Hell attracted one complaint in New Zealand. The Advertising Standards Authority ASA did not uphold the complaint since "it did not reach the threshold to be likely to cause serious or widespread offence".[9]

"Selling your soul"[edit]

Hell Pizza used the expression "sell your soul" in mass advertising in 2013 in New Zealand. It received one complaint to the ASA that "This flippant attitude towards something that many New Zealand citizens ... believed to be significant and consequential..." The ASA ruled that there were no grounds to proceed, since "sell your soul" is a common saying and recognized the saying as dark and satirical.[10] Hell also purchased the soul of a 24-year-old Wanganui man for $5,001, after the online auction website Trademe withdrew his attempt to sell it there.[11]

Halloween dead celebrities[edit]

In November 2008, while under management from Tasman Foods, Hell Pizza New Zealand apologized for an advertisement featuring the skeletal remains of Sir Edmund Hillary, Heath Ledger, and the Queen Mother, dancing on gravestones. The apology was made to Hillary's family, which complained the ad was in "extremely poor taste". The ad was withdrawn from the company's website on November 3rd.[12]

Pizza Roulette[edit]

In 2012, Hell Pizza marketed 'Pizza Roulette', in which one unidentified slice of a pizza is doused with chili. Marketing called it the "hottest chili known to mankind".[13]

Real Rabbit Campaign[edit]

In April 2014, Hell Pizza released a rabbit flavored pizza for Easter and advertised it in New Zealand on billboards covered in rabbit pelts. The billboard has received both criticism and praise; the New Zealand Vegetarian Society criticized the billboard.[14]

Greta Thunberg advertisement[edit]

In October 2021, Hell Pizza drew media attention and controversy after launching an advertisement campaign telling Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg "to go to Hell" in response to her remarks criticizing New Zealand's efforts to address climate change. Hell Pizza CEO Ben Cumming confirmed he has sent a personal invitation to Thunberg to witness the company's efforts to address climate change, environmental pollution and reduce waste. The company had attempted to secure a large billboard for the advertisement in Thunberg's hometown of Stockholm, but local authorities had deemed it offensive.[15][16]

Controversies[edit]

Condoms[edit]

On 31 October 2006 Hell announced through a press release it would be promoting its "Lust" pizza by distributing 170,000 branded condoms.[17] The Family First Lobby said Hell has "crossed the line of what is decent and acceptable advertising material to be put in letterboxes of families".[18] It was later revealed that the condoms failed to comply with New Zealand labelling and packaging requirements, and remaining stocks were destroyed.[19]

Broken Charity Pledge[edit]

In 2009, Hell Pizza owner Warren Powell verbally pledged to pay all proceeds from a Hell takeaway van at the Big Night In Telethon to the charity KidsCan, amounting to about NZ$10,000. Julie Nelson, chief executive of the charity, said "after seeing reports that some of the money raised was failing to reach needy children, Powell reneged on the deal."[20] On 14 August 2011, the Hell Pizza Facebook page stated "We can confirm that we have now contributed $10,000 to the KidsCan Charitable Trust."[21]

Hacking[edit]

In July 2010, after hackers attacked the Hell Pizza customer database, 230,000 customers were advised to change their passwords.[22]

Fake Meat[edit]

In June 2019, the fake meat of a burger pizza met food standards but caused controversy as it was labelled as a "burger" pizza but contained vegan burger patties.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rogers, Claire (14 January 2012). "Hell fires its pizzas around the world". stuff.co.nz. Dominion Post.
  2. ^ "The history of Hell Pizza". stuff.co.nz. 11 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Hell Boys back as Burger King plans for future". scoop.co.nz. Tasman Pacific Foods. 13 May 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Slade, Maria (13 May 2009). "Hell trio return to pizza chain". APN News & Media. New Zealand Herald.
  5. ^ Walters, Laura (4 March 2016). "The evolution of New Zealand's pizza industry". stuff.co.nz.
  6. ^ "Hell Pizza". hellpizza.com. Hell Pizza.
  7. ^ Nadkarni, Anuja (26 January 2020). "What it takes to run Hell Pizza's most successful store". Stuff. Retrieved 13 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Hendry-Tennent, Ireland (13 August 2021). "Kiwis devastated as Hell Pizza increases price of iconic Friday 13th special". Newshub. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  9. ^ Advertising Standards Authority (13 May 2008). "08/231 - Hell Pizza Radio Advertisement". Advertising Standards Authority. Archived from the original on 29 May 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
  10. ^ Advertising Standards Authority (22 August 2008). "08/396 - Hell Pizza Direct Mail Website and Television Advertisement". Advertising Standards Authority. Archived from the original on 29 May 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
  11. ^ "Man sells his soul to Hell". Manawatu Standard. 4 July 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  12. ^ Tedmanson, Sophie (3 November 2008). "Pizza company apologies for ad featuring Hillary, Ledger and the Queen Mother". London: Times Online. Retrieved 3 November 2008.
  13. ^ "Pizza Roulette: One Slice From Pie Has 'Hottest Chili Known To Mankind' (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  14. ^ Guillaume, Jenna (11 April 2014). "A Pizza Chain In NZ Has Set Up A Billboard Made Of Dead Rabbits". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  15. ^ Templeton, Sarah (5 October 2021). "Hell Pizza tells Greta Thunberg 'go to Hell' in controversial campaign". Newshub. Retrieved 7 October 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "How dare they! 'Greta Thunberg can go to Hell' - Kiwi company's message to environmentalist". The New Zealand Herald. 5 October 2021. Archived from the original on 6 October 2021. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  17. ^ "HELL distributes condoms to promote Lust". Scoop. Hell Pizza. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  18. ^ "Hell's Pizza sinks to offensive advertising". Scoop. Family First Lobby. 2 November 2006. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  19. ^ Hurley, Bevan (31 July 2011). "Free condoms weren't up to scratch". Herald on Sunday. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  20. ^ Hurley, Bevan (24 July 2011). "Charity cops one Hell of a loss". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  21. ^ KidsCan Update Hell Pizza Facebook page, "HELL regularly makes major contributions to local and national causes. One of the most recent was a donation of more than $175,000 to the Canterbury earthquake recovery/"
  22. ^ Barratt, Joseph (25 July 2010). "Police called over pizza hack". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  23. ^ Taunton, Esther (17 September 2019). "Hell Pizza escapes formal action over Beyond Meat stunt". Stuff. Archived from the original on 25 May 2021. Retrieved 7 October 2021.

External links[edit]