© Adrian Brooks/Imagewise/Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut has launched a ‘mood-enhancing pizza’ in the UK, made with ingredients that are most likely to make us happy.
The pizza, available in its restaurants now, is topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, tuna, red onion, olives and sweetcorn. Its launch comes just in time for so-called Blue Monday – or 16 January – which research suggests is ‘the most depressing day of the year’.
Pizza Hut UK worked with nutrition expert Rebecca Hirst to identify the key ingredients for the pizza most likely to increase the four main chemicals in the body – serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins – that have an effect on people’s happiness.
The pizza is designed to be consumed while watching a new piece of audio-visual art that includes babies laughing, kittens purring and waves lapping against a tropical beach.
Pizza Hut called it ‘its first multi-sensory eating experience aimed at beating the January blues’
A Pizza Hut UK spokesperson said: “With the limited hours of light and a post Christmas slump, everyone knows January can be a tough month. Food can certainly act as a pick me up, but we wanted to offer something more, so we hope we help make everyone feel that bit happier this January!”
Nutrition expert Hirst explained the scientific thinking behind the choice of ingredients on the pizza: “Oily fish such as tuna is a source of tryptophan that is converted in the brain to serotonin. The same applies to mozzarella cheese – the body uses the protein to synthesise serotonin and dopamine from amino acids,” she said.
“Finally, colourful, crunchy vegetables visually stimulate our senses – a rainbow of colour helps us enjoy our food ‘with our eyes’ and gets our taste buds tingling so that we salivate and our body prepares to digest our food well.”
To accompany the pizza, Pizza Hut asked a team of behavioural psychologists from Innovationbubble to apply Harvard methodology to identifying the ten visual and audio cues that are most likely to make use happy.
The research findings included babies and baby laughter, puppies and kittens, love hearts, sunsets, rainbows and clouds – all of which have been brought to life in a new video by visual artist James Burgess.
Innovationbubble’s Dr Simon Moore said: “Humans assess everything we see on an emotional survival dimension – so we quickly judge if something is a threat or likely to make us pleased, happy or excited. Using this theory, we worked closely with Pizza Hut UK to identify the visual cues and sounds that makes people the most happy to compliment their mood-boosting pizza.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017