I recently had the opportunity to dine at the Naked Pizza in Miami. I headed to the hip South Beach locale with a hungry posse where we sampled a variety of pies—thin crust artichoke and gluten-free fresh tomato and mozzarella and a Superbiotic loaded with spinach, artichoke, bell pepper, garlic, onion and cilantro. The verdict—yum. Even the gluten-free pie delivered that quintessential pizza experience.
So it’s delish, but is it truly healthy? Considering that a slice of the original crust cheese pie has 81 calories, 5 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, I’d say yes. The company says that the blend of 10 seeds and grains boosted with probiotics (they use Ganeden’s BC30), along with inulin (a prebiotic fiber), offer digestive benefits not found in any other pizza. And they proudly brag about the absence of “freaky” ingredients like MSG, high fructose corn syrup and colorants.
Naked Pizza is the brainchild of Jeff Leach and Randy Crochet. Leach, often described as a nutrition guru, learned first hand the impact of diet on health when his daughter was diagnosed with diabetes. When he met Crochet, a real estate developer, the two put their divergent knowledge together to create an alternative to traditional pizza that is “nothing more than a donut with tomato sauce,” Leach says.
Naked Pizza’s fresh approach doesn’t stop with its ingredients; the company’s use of social media marketing further pushes the conventional perception of a pizza chain. When the company tested a Twitter promotion, it discovered that the tweets brought in 15 percent of a day’s business, according to Advertising Age. In addition to coupons, the company is also spreading the word about Naked Pizza’s health benefits via social networking apps. A new approach to education for a new product—a clever way to alter pizza’s junk food image.
Walking around after our Naked Pizza party one person in our group commented that she felt “really good—not bloated like I usually do after eating pizza.” Was it the placebo effect or the pro-health ingredients? I vote for the latter and for another slice.