Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut, one of the world's largest QSR chains, approached TSI to identify the role of cheese across five Asian markets. In particular, they wanted to ascertain the role of cheese in enhancing the company's quality, taste, and value perceptions for Asian consumers. Pizza Hut also sought to understand consumer perceptions of U.S. cheese to improve their brand messaging and channel strategies. 


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PIzza Hut



Greater China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the United States

To get there, TSI conducted semiotic research throughout Asia, with a particular focus on Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Ultimately, we wanted to understand three things. 

  • What did consumers see when it came to Pizza Hut's brand marketing?

  • What did consumers and KOLs share on social media?

  • What was the online sentiment towards the brand?

While there were several pan-regional insights, not surprisingly each market also had their own viewpoints on what made a great cheese experience. In Malaysia, for example, consumers wanted the oozy, stretchy, liquidy cheese you see in commercials. Hong Kongers, by contrast, wanted to explore the world through various global cheese flavours and taste profiles. The Taiwanese were looking for a cheese-eating experience that contributed to a healthier lifestyle. 

When we started to piece this puzzle together, TSI found five unique insights applicable across the entire region. 

Insight #1: The provenance of cheese is just as important as how it tastes.

Insight #2: Cheese is a highly emotional ingredient that should denote sharing and togetherness.

Insight #3: Consumers want the real stuff, preferring authentic cheese over processed alternatives.

Insight #4: Consumers want to be taken to #cheeseheaven, where more cheese is never enough. 

Insight #5: Not only does cheese taste good, but consumers want to know its health benefits too.

Keys to Win

Using all of these unique insights, TSI was able to provide Pizza Hut with keys to win across Asia-Pacific. This has helped the company beat analyst earnings and revenue predictions quarter-on-quarter.