Author Topic: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza  (Read 305139 times)

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #875 on: June 30, 2015, 12:53:52 PM »
After my last post I wondered why I had come away with the impression that PJ was telling the world that it used 100% mozzarella cheese. I am usually very thorough with my research, so that troubled me more than anything. So, I repeated the search that I had originally conducted on this matter. In doing this, I found two items that I had seen before but did not cite after I found what turned out to be the Malaysian website. I believe that the two items cited below are of a domestic PJ nature and where the 100% mozzarella cheese comments are made.

See, for example, the SIGNATURE CHEESE tagline at http://www.papajohns.com/franchise/why-franchise-with-papa-johns.shtm and the PJ United website at http://mypapajohns.com/Cheese.htm.

Maybe I am still missing something (for example, the PJ United website looks like it might be old) but I replied to the PJ response by citing the above links.

Peter


Offline vtsteve

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #876 on: July 01, 2015, 12:02:36 AM »
Their 'signature, proprietary cheese' is "Crafted from 100% mozzarella" and "made with 100% mozzarella" (plus the other stuff, of course ::) ). Labels by lawyers...
« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 12:33:07 AM by vtsteve »
In grams we trust.

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #877 on: July 01, 2015, 08:24:49 AM »
Their 'signature, proprietary cheese' is "Crafted from 100% mozzarella" and "made with 100% mozzarella" (plus the other stuff, of course ::) ). Labels by lawyers...
Steve,

Believe me, I am ever mindful of that. A lot of companies like to hide the weenie but this is not the best time to use that practice. There are too any people out their looking at everything with magnifying glasses.

Peter

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #878 on: July 01, 2015, 12:18:45 PM »
I hadn't mentioned it earlier, but right after I sent my initial email to PJ on the 100% mozzarella cheese matter, I also sent an inquiry on the same matter to the FDA. I had long been aware of the fact that there is a standard of identity for mozzarella cheese and how that might affect what a particular mozzarella cheese product is called. As an example, I alluded to the standard of identity matter a while back in another thread and how legalities can enter the equation at Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=32080.msg317782#msg317782. So, in sending my inquiry to the FDA, my hope was is that I would either get a clarifyng response from the FDA or at least learn something new.

The response I got from the FDA cited the section of the code that applies to mozzarella cheese, to wit:

Response:  In order for mozzarella cheese to be called "mozzarella cheese" it has to meet the specifications in the Code of Federal Regulations CFR 133.

The ingredient information that you found on their website is just a list of it's ingredients.  As long as the mozzarella cheese meets the definition for mozzarella cheese as seen in CFR 133.155, it can still be called mozzarella cheese.


I had long been aware of the cited FDA regulation, but since the response did not specifically address the 100% mozzarella cheese issue, I reframed my original question and resubmitted it. This morning, I received the following reply:

Response:  If the mozzarella cheese fits the definition of mozzarella cheese in CFR 133.155 (as mentioned in the first email) it would be considered 100% mozzarella cheese.

My interpretation of the statutory language for mozzarella cheese, including the definitions of milk at Part 133 at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title21-vol2/pdf/CFR-2012-title21-vol2-part133.pdf, is that the mozzarella cheese blend that PJ uses does not qualify as 100% mozzarella cheese. The reason for this is that the statute does not permit one to add modified food starch, sugarcane fiber, whey protein concentrate, sodium citrate, and sodium propionate to a basic mozzarella cheese and call the blend 100% mozzarella cheese. This is not a new revelation. Yesterday, PJ told me that they could not call their cheese blend 100% mozzarella cheese because it is a non-standard of identity cheese (NSOI) cheese.

I will await with interest a further reply from PJ on the above matter. Since they already gave me the answer, they may not respond further and continue to hide behind their ambiguous and slippery cheese descriptions.

Peter

 


Offline carl333

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #879 on: July 06, 2015, 08:40:40 PM »
Peter, you're such a sleuth.  ;D
Carl

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #880 on: July 07, 2015, 09:50:09 AM »
Peter, you're such a sleuth.  ;D
When I did not hear back again from Papa John's, I followed up with PJ this morning by informing them of what I was told by the FDA about what constitutes mozzarella cheese and when a cheese can be called 100% mozzarella cheese. I still contend that saying that the PJ cheese is made or crafted from 100% mozzarella cheese, as does PJ at many of its websites, including its ordering websites, creates the impression that the cheese is pure mozzarella cheese without any of the other additives that PJ uses. I am aware that at the bottom of many of the PJ website pages there is a link to Ingredients, where a prospective customer can see all of the ingredients in the pizza cheese used by PJ, but I would imagine that very few prospective customers click on that link. Whether such a link gets PJ off the hook remains to be seen.

Peter

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #881 on: July 07, 2015, 09:53:23 AM »
But you are aware that "made with pure gold" does not mean it is all pure gold. Welcome to the world of advertising.  I take one pound of mozzarella, add what I like to it and say, "made with 100% Mozzarella" and lead people to believe that there is only Mozzarella cheese that they are eating.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #882 on: July 07, 2015, 10:22:59 AM »
But you are aware that "made with pure gold" does not mean it is all pure gold. Welcome to the world of advertising.  I take one pound of mozzarella, add what I like to it and say, "made with 100% Mozzarella" and lead people to believe that there is only Mozzarella cheese that they are eating.
David,

I am aware that we are in an area that can be rather treacherous. I read an interesting article yesterday on this topic at http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Consumer_Trends/2015/07/Clean_label_claims_A_legal_per.aspx?ID={76069227-9286-4F9A-BBC3-680B452ED6AC}. Among other things, the article discussed the famous Nutella lawsuit. In that regard, I noted the statement:

This lawsuit underscores that even if certain statements are literally true, they are not necessarily risk-free if they create an overall impression about a product that is arguably misleading.

This morning, I reminded PJ that the expression 100% is a powerful expression, especially when associated with something that is good, so when a statement appears on their websites that the cheese is made or crafted from 100% mozzarella cheese, or 100% real cheese made from mozzarella, the impression that such statements creates is that the cheese is pure mozzarella cheese without any additional ingredients. I left the door open for PJ to tell me if I am missing something.

Peter

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #883 on: July 07, 2015, 12:00:40 PM »
I think that most people reading something that said "made with 100% Mozzarella" would recognize the difference between "Pizza made with 100% Mozzarella" and "Cheese made with 100% Mozzarella"   The former makes the reader think that the mozzarella used on the pizza is 100% Mozzarella.  The latter makes the reader think that the cheese contains other ingredients.


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #884 on: July 07, 2015, 12:17:56 PM »
I think that most people reading something that said "made with 100% Mozzarella" would recognize the difference between "Pizza made with 100% Mozzarella" and "Cheese made with 100% Mozzarella"   The former makes the reader think that the mozzarella used on the pizza is 100% Mozzarella.  The latter makes the reader think that the cheese contains other ingredients.
David,

Since you are a lawyer, I expect you to think like a lawyer. But the average person does not think like a lawyer. FYI, a typical PJ webpage where there is mention of their cheese, as well as context, can be seen at http://order.papajohns.com/nutrition.html. I sent another question to the FDA today where I cited the foregoing link and pleaded my case. I know that the FDA has no teeth to enforce what might be construed as potentially misleading statements, so I do not expect to get much back from the FDA. The FDA acts when there is imminent harm to consumers or in the case of recalls. Beyond that, they do not have the resources to address issues like the one at hand. But I like to see how PJ and the FDA explain themselves and defend their positions. I feel like I am a gadfly, like the Food Babe. :-D

I especially like this one: 100% real cheese made from mozzarella. Only the pure mozzarella used by PJ for its pizzas can be called real cheese. The rest of the ingredients cannot be called real cheese (although the whey is a byproduct of cheese making).

Peter

Offline carl333

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #885 on: July 07, 2015, 12:36:42 PM »
After my last post I wondered why I had come away with the impression that PJ was telling the world that it used 100% mozzarella cheese. I am usually very thorough with my research, so that troubled me more than anything. So, I repeated the search that I had originally conducted on this matter. In doing this, I found two items that I had seen before but did not cite after I found what turned out to be the Malaysian website. I believe that the two items cited below are of a domestic PJ nature and where the 100% mozzarella cheese comments are made.

See, for example, the SIGNATURE CHEESE tagline at http://www.papajohns.com/franchise/why-franchise-with-papa-johns.shtm and the PJ United website at http://mypapajohns.com/Cheese.htm.

Maybe I am still missing something (for example, the PJ United website looks like it might be old) but I replied to the PJ response by citing the above links.

Peter


If I read PJ's statement on the cheese they use a few years ago I probably would not have picked up that there are byproducts included in their cheese blend. I bet many that read it today don't realizeit and what is actually is being said. Does it bother me? Absolutely. Without further investigation, its anyone's imagination on what other by products (perhaps some cost cutting) are included in their cheese blend. What bothers me is exactly what you have pointed out. Their statement without giving much thought tends to lead that their cheese is 100% mozz. Everyone else is doing it! 
Carl

Offline carl333

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #886 on: July 07, 2015, 12:40:54 PM »
David,

I am aware that we are in an area that can be rather treacherous. I read an interesting article yesterday on this topic at http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Consumer_Trends/2015/07/Clean_label_claims_A_legal_per.aspx?ID={76069227-9286-4F9A-BBC3-680B452ED6AC}. Among other things, the article discussed the famous Nutella lawsuit. In that regard, I noted the statement:

This lawsuit underscores that even if certain statements are literally true, they are not necessarily risk-free if they create an overall impression about a product that is arguably misleading.

This morning, I reminded PJ that the expression 100% is a powerful expression, especially when associated with something that is good, so when a statement appears on their websites that the cheese is made or crafted from 100% mozzarella cheese, or 100% real cheese made from mozzarella, the impression that such statements creates is that the cheese is pure mozzarella cheese without any additional ingredients. I left the door open for PJ to tell me if I am missing something.

Peter

i'm staying tuned!!
Carl

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #887 on: July 07, 2015, 01:01:57 PM »
I said from the outset that I ate there and found the product mediocre.  I would not expect a fast food chain to use quality ingredients.

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #888 on: July 07, 2015, 01:17:20 PM »
I said from the outset that I ate there and found the product mediocre.  I would not expect a fast food chain to use quality ingredients.
David,

I have always blamed the PJ pizza cheese for the less than stellar quality of the PJ pizzas, not the dough or sauce although even then one might not like the PJ pizzas. But when your motto is as shown below, you really should be held to a higher standard in my opinion and not hide the weenie.

Peter

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #889 on: July 07, 2015, 01:44:45 PM »
Agree, 100%  Though, I expect their ingredients may in fact be "better" than the pizza huts or the sbarros.  I don't know that for a fact, but I expect it may be true.

As for what makes the PJ experience mediocre, it doesn't really matter to me.  A good sandwich requires good bread and good fillings. We all know a good pizza requires good crust and good toppings, baked well.

Offline carl333

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #890 on: July 07, 2015, 02:17:44 PM »
Agree, 100%  Though, I expect their ingredients may in fact be "better" than the pizza huts or the sbarros.  I don't know that for a fact, but I expect it may be true.

As for what makes the PJ experience mediocre, it doesn't really matter to me.  A good sandwich requires good bread and good fillings. We all know a good pizza requires good crust and good toppings, baked well.

I have never experienced a PJ's pizza. Must be a better than anything you can get from the frozen isle of your local grocery store.
Carl

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #891 on: July 07, 2015, 04:47:08 PM »
I have never experienced a PJ's pizza. Must be a better than anything you can get from the frozen isle of your local grocery store.
I guess some might prefer it to frozen pizza. Taste wise, I think a di giornno four cheese frozen pizza might be better. But, buying a slice is a heck of a lot more convenient than cooking a frozen pizza.


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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #892 on: July 10, 2015, 12:28:26 AM »
I have a few random comments on the following claims: "made with a kiss of buffalo milk (Bacio)" "with a hint of provolone (Dominoes)", "100% whole milk mozzarella (Shakey's)", and the Papa John's claims in the last dozen or so posts.

1. While I still don't have a label off the box that Shakey's cheese comes in, the rest of the cheeses mentioned above all come from Leprino Foods.

2. If you look at the ingredients lists on frozen "budget" pizzas, many mix in imitation mozzarella made from vegetable oil and a list of adjuncts as long as your arm. One could infer Papa John's wants to tell consumers they don't use imitation mozzarella cheese. But I am also unsure if Papa John's claims of "Plenty of cheese made from 100% mozzarella" and "100% real cheese made from mozzarella " can be legally made.

3. In the top photo I posted at:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=518.msg173916;topicseen#msg173916
some chains even put the claim right on the pizza box. But does that claim count as an official ingredients list?

4. It was only after I bought a box of frozen Leprino QLC that I realized why delivery chains love it: the cheese does not turn slab-like after slightly cooling off. You can also see this in the pizza served at Golden Corral. Mine uses Leprino QLC cheese. But Leprino QLC cheese requires preservatives. Thawed cheese does not clump and can be placed on a pizza at a high rate of speed.

5. Dominoes also would never answer the question of what a hint of provolone meant. I now know Leprino can add flavors to QLC cheese.

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #893 on: July 10, 2015, 10:29:53 AM »
Zing,

Thank you very much for the update.

I have not heard back from either Papa John's or the FDA. I am used to being snubbed but I usually don't let the matter rest. In fact, it encourages me on to make a pain out of myself. I am thinking of sending new messages to PJ and the FDA to start the process all over again and hope that I get other reps than the ones who responded to my earlier inquiries.

Ingredients lists can be tricky things. It depends on where the ingredients lists are posted. The law does not require the pizza chains to list ingredients lists. But many do because they are pestered by consumers or advocates who have concerns about allergies, gluten intolerance, vegan and vegetarian issues, issues concerning nutrition, GMO issues, additives, and so on. In the case of PJ, I knew early on what was in their pizzas because a PJ corporate employee sent me an internal PJ document showing what was in their various products. If someone did that today, PJ most likely would have fired the person. The employee who sent me the document left the company and PJ went silent for several years thereafter as to what was in their products. When the Food Babe and other food advocacy groups started poking around and writing negative articles about PJ (and other pizza chains as well), PJ loosened the grip and started to open up about what is in their products. I think they knew that bad publicity would go viral and harm them or put them on the defensive. Domino's has always been the most open about what is in their products, with all kinds of documents at its website. I do not recall ever seeing a formal ingredients list from Little Caesars beyond a pizza kit they promoted for fundraising purposes. Pizza Hut used to be very open with their ingredients lists but it has been several years since I last saw a formal ingredients list from PH. But even when an ingredients list is provided, it doesn't have to list the ingredients by predominance. In most cases, this is true but, as can be seen from Papa Gino's listing of ingredients for their Pizza Shell at http://www.papaginos.com/nutrition/ingredients/, the ingredients are clearly out of order.

As for Leprino's itself, it is as tight lipped as they come. Their website offers little of value to those of us who would like to decipher their products. Even if you call them, as I once did, they will not give you anything unless it looks like you will become one of their customers. You really have to locate and read their patents to get a feel as to what they do in making their cheeses.

As a final observation, one of the things I learned from communicating with pizza chains over the years is that often their customer service employees cannot answer the questions. They can answer the most basic and mundane questions about their pizzas at the consumer level but they cannot, or will not, answer questions of a technical nature, such as questions about their nutrition information. 

Peter

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Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #894 on: July 24, 2015, 10:54:52 AM »
As a further update on the matter of PJ's cheese, the other day I received a further reply from the FDA in which I was told to call an FDA telephone number. I did this today. And while the person who answered my telephone call said he was not in a position to answer my questions himself, he would refer the matter to someone else within the organization who should be able to help me. At his request, I explained the matter of PJ's cheese in detail. I also gave him my name, telephone number and email address. I also mentioned that I will be out of town for about a week starting tomorrow so if I don't hear back today, I may pick up the matter again upon my return. I decided at this point not to go back to PJ. I will wait for the FDA to respond.

Peter