The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse On the cheese side, Leprino hustled to satisfy Pizza Hut, which went public in 1972 with around 1,000 stores and, at its peak in the 1990s, accounted for 90% of Leprino's sales. Many chefs and high-end pizzerias use whole milk mozzarella cheese because it melts better and has a richer flavor. skim milk, water, soybean or canola oil, parmesan and romano cheeses (part skim cow's milk, cultures, enzymes, salt, cellulose), modified corn starch, contains 2% or less of: salt, dried cream … Information received in Email from Pizza Hut regarding Cheese & Enzymes: “Response Via Email (Lloni C.) 07/11/2012 01:26 PM Enzymes used in the production of pizza cheese is a microbial fermentation … All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. After hearing that shredding 5-pound cheese blocks in the franchises was time-consuming and inconsistent, Leprino Foods started selling frozen, presliced blocks. Leprino Foods does not list the ingredients of its lite mozzarella cheese, but Pizza Hut reports that the cheese consists of pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes, modified food starch, whey protein concentrate, nonfat milk and sodium propionate. For example, in the 1990s, Kielsmeier realized that just as the cheese changed when ingredients were sprayed on at the end, certain additives used early in the process could affect how cheese melts — from how big and how brown the bubbles get to how many are on the top of the pie. It should not be A devout Catholic, he goes to church every Sunday and donates to charity anonymously. One thing many pizza lovers don’t like about the classic … I gravitate towards the intersection of food and mass manufacturing. Pizza Hut doesn't offer some of the less typical toppings such as spinach, feta, salami and sliced provolone. Some of its specialty pizzas contain Parmesan romano cheese. Mike Leprino Sr. stands in the original Leprino family shop selling Italian specialties. Leprino's first coup came in 1968, when Pizza Hut was looking for a supplier that could help it cut costs while standardizing portions. In the 1970s, Wisconsin and New York were producing most of the country's milk, but California's nascent dairy industry often priced milk lower. America's fifth-largest pizza chain, the take-and-bake Papa Murphy's, remains in his sights. Speaking of giant pizzas, let’s talk about The Big Italy. In fact, they use more cheese than pretty much anyone else in the world. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher. LEPRINO'S OFFICE BEARS testaments to his roots, including a black-and-white photo of his mother on her wedding day at age 16 and a bronze relief of James and his father rolling fresh mozzarella balls. If smaller pizza and less doughy crust is more of your style, then this lighter … And that scale also led to cost-saving breakthroughs that Leprino's fragmented competitors could neither catch up with technologically nor fight in patent court. ... Parmesan, Fontina cheese … According to the commercial, it … While acknowledging his "genius," numerous industry executives paint Leprino, in his younger days, as an "aggressive" leader who wasn't above visiting individual franchise owners to pitch his technologically advanced cheese. Yes, a cheese pizza really does contain one-and-a-half pounds of "aged, buttery cheeses (an 80 percent—20 percent blend of low-fat, part-skim-milk mozzarella and provolone) and 10-month … Probably the answer is yes, and it'll come at some point," he says. Cheeses to avoid on pizza: processed cheese or oily cheeses such as Velveeta, American cheese and Cheddar or pre-shredded cheese. The chain states that it uses part-skim mozzarella cheese on the majority of its pizzas. Leaf Group Ltd. Yet Leprino executives continue to press. Cooks bring out a take-and-bake pizza, a New York-style pie and a stuffed crust, fresh from nearly a dozen ovens. The most popular cheeses used in the preparation of pizza … While Kielsmeier made the cheese, Leprino fixated on efficiency. Leprino realized he needed to learn the science behind making cheese on a mass scale. the pizza hut in my town is still a sit down, dine in establishment. and "Would we want more? Order pizza online from a store near you. The scientists there soon realized that this method allowed them to add flavors such as salted caramel and jalapeño. it even has the old works bar where you can order all you can eat and get pizza, desert and salad from buffets. LEPRINO'S MOST IMPORTANT innovation, ultimately, was marrying science and sales — a combination that met the needs of the four biggest U.S. pizza chains during a period when they were growing exponentially, launching one of the greatest turf wars in the history of American food. Cofounder Robert Graham says Leprino visited him at least three times to try to get the company to sign on, selling the technology above all else. Like other pizza restaurants, Pizza Hut primarily uses mozzarella cheese on its pizzas. "I've got everybody keeping one in their pocket," Leprino says. "I don't want them to be living a corporate life resentfully," Leprino says. Because the outer crust is … This story appears in the June 13, 2017 issue of Forbes. Percent Daily Values (%DV) … I dont care for their pizzas much,but I always curious to know what they used,what brand or … A report by the magazine "The Milkwood" in 2006 suggested that Leprino Foods' mozzarella cheese uses polydimethylsiloxane, a silicone industrial chemical. Most chains of Pizza Hut use the brand Leprino Foods for their mozzarella cheese. From Pizza Hut and Domino's to Little Caesars and Papa John's, the vast majority of pizzas in America feature mozzarella from one company. Part-skim mozzarella cheese has less fat and calories than whole-milk mozzarella cheese. But very few will go into detail, and fewer still will attach their name to their comments. Leprino hopes that will be an edge in the $6.6 billion-and-growing U.S. protein market. That same year, the first Pizza Hut opened, in Wichita, Kansas. The chain states that it uses part-skim mozzarella cheese on the majority of its pizzas. , If anyone knows,what kind/brand of cheese do the chains use,such as PJ's,Dominos and Pizza hut? "His reflected sense of self is his patents, his business," Papa John's billionaire founder John Schnatter says of Jim Leprino. James and her colleagues analyzed the properties of seven different types of cheeses -- … Each "~" indicates a missing or incomplete value. Yuck. The timing couldn't have been better. Price has long been Leprino's biggest advantage, and a large one since cheese accounts for about 40% of a pizza's cost. There isn't a single image of Leprino on his company's website. 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But after nearly 60 years running the business and more than a decade on Forbes' list of billionaires, Leprino, worth an estimated $3 billion, is finally willing to be interviewed about how his family's grocery in Denver's Little Italy became the world's top producer of pizza cheese--the slightly derisive term competitors use to describe its mozzarella. Camera shy: If you Google James Leprino’s picture, you’ll get fellow billionaire John Malone. Mozzarella cheese has no carbohydrates and is a good source of protein, with nearly 8 grams per serving. Mozzarella cheese also contains vitamin A and is an excellent source of calcium. I cover all things food and drink as a staff writer at Forbes, from billionaires and ag tech startups to CPG entrepreneurs and wine. But with a young daughter at home and another baby on the way, he didn't have time for college. "When Lester came, I went downtown to the junkyard and I bought a couple bigger cheese vats to make it look like we were really in the business," Leprino says. In fact pizza lunchables are healthy because they use real tomatoes in the sauce, who grain pizza crust and Kraft mozzarella cheese wich is a very healthy lunch for kids. Garlic and cheese lovers, rejoice! He lets others worry about fresh mozzarella balls and pizza that taste like they were made in the old country. In 1958, after larger chain grocery stores had forced the Leprino market to close, the Leprino Foods cheese empire started with $615. He speaks with former president Wes Allen (left). You may opt-out by, The Business of What We Eat and How It's Made. … For the first time, pizza-makers could simply layer a few slices onto each pie. You Must Ask/Click For Certain Offers. Cheesy Stuffed Garlic Knots are finally back on Pizza Hut's menu, and they're part of the chain's iconic $5 Lineup.. Leprino Foods is the world's largest mozzarella company with sales of more than $3 billion annually. In a pizza that needs little explanation, the newest Pizza Hut mash-up combines two of the most beloved foods of all-time – grilled cheese and pizza. No starches or fillers. Graf left Pizza Hut, which was still growing, for Domino's and brought Leprino's business with him, as that chain surged from 200 outlets in 1978 to 5,000 in 1989. Pizza Hut also does not use any fillers in any of its meat toppings. He quickly realized he was dumping half his raw ingredients into the river in the form of whey, the calcium-rich liquid left over after curds are strained. Pizza Hut franchises would sometimes wait too long to thaw the presliced mozzarella and reported that their cheese would crumble, so Leprino Foods responded with its first major breakthrough: a preservative mist. The general public probably sticks to the more … Leprino is also rolling out the company's first direct-to-consumer product, a whey protein powder called Ascent, which will have a dedicated wing at the Greeley facility. I head up the 30 Under 30 Food and Drink list, as well as Forbes' 25 Most Innovative Ag Tech Startups list. Leprino's succession plan is simple: He'll split ownership between his two daughters, Terry, 57, and Gina, 55, who have been on the board for years but won't take day-to-day roles. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the used as a substitute for professional medical advice, Leprino has somehow eluded photographers for decades: A Google search picks up photos of fellow Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz and cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder. Domino's agreed to an exclusive relationship in 1996--the contract was just one page. Leprino was able to grow with them all by putting them in silos, granting each company its own specs and then troubleshooting as necessary. Copyright © The company goes through 300 million pounds of cheese every year. ". Top the pizzas with pizza sauce, desired toppings, and grated mozzarella cheese. Recently, the USDA conducted a study which revealed the enormous amount of pizza we consume in the United States. But he's more likely to pick up a hammer than call a repairman: Leprino, who has been known to operate a forklift at the factory, has also personally bulldozed trees around his Colorado home. So find info and order pizza online! Meanwhile, Little Caesars, with more than 3,000 stores, was growing 25% a year with its deal of "Two great pizzas, one low price." When Papa John's insisted it wanted cheese without fillers —eschewing a new Leprino product that contained some — the big cheese didn't take it well. Subscribe. 1978 company portrait is the only known image of Leprino Foods’ founder (right). Mike Leprino Sr. makes fresh mozzarella balls in the original Leprino Foods store. A new, fractured market, primed to be dominated. AN AVALANCHE OF CHEESE pours into the test kitchen at the Denver headquarters of Leprino Foods, the mozzarella supplier to Pizza Hut, Domino's and Papa John's. And of cause you can order a tasty pizza! FOR JAMES LEPRINO, the perks of being a billionaire are relatively muted. advertisements are served by third party advertising companies. My reporting has brought me to In-N-Out Burger's secret test kitchen, had me trekking through drought-ridden farms in California's Central Valley and even sent me to a chocolate factory designed like a castle in Northern France. At maarslet-pizza.dk you can find everything you want to know about What Kind Of Mushrooms Does Pizza Hut Use. Leprino has invested $600 million in a factory in Greeley, Colorado, that specializes in "ribbon cheese" — bulky 2.5-pound blocks that are popular among frozen-pizza companies. "That really means a lot to him. I love pizza! Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. Use cold cheese to prevent cheese from over cooking and possibly burning. The first key was something called "Quality Locked Cheese"--shredded and individually frozen portions--which Leprino introduced in 1986. diagnosis or treatment. We stopped buying pizza from Pizza Hut a year ago when they started charging for crushed red peppers and parmesan. DELIVERY & CARRYOUT LOCATIONS ARE OPEN! Then come the cheese cubes marketed as snack pairings: pear flavor with nuts or Gorgonzola with pretzels. The Spinach & Feta pizza comes with mozzarella, feta, Parmesan, and Asiago. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing. Leprino Foods' ribbon cheese, which is made at its Greeley, Colorado plant. "I really like to keep my privacy.". "I support what's going on, but I don't try to lead it," he adds. "My job is to hold them responsible for doing what they said they're going to do. Dominating the market has its advantages: He's able to invest in technology that no run-of-the-mill dairy farmer ever could, resulting in more than 50 patents —and an estimated 7% net margin, which dwarfs the dairy-industry average. Whole milk mozzarella can be difficult to find and usually is not available at your local grocery store, so many people use part-skim mozzarella cheese, just like Pizza Hut. "They didn't believe that was what should go on top of their grandmother's pizza recipe," says Ed Zimmerman, a 30-year pizza-industry veteran. "I thought, This is a good market to go after, so I did." Thin and Crispy Crust. Some of its specialty pizzas … We offer Real cheese. Instead, he hired Lester Kielsmeier, who had run a cheese factory in Wisconsin only to find out that it was sold during his stint in the Air Force during World War II, because his dad believed he'd been killed in action. Fast food companies are adding more sustainable options to their … It's two all-American favorites in one...but there's no American cheese. Copyright Policy Mozzarella cheese is available in part-skim, fat-free or whole milk varieties. As Jerry Graf, a former cheese buyer for Pizza Hut, notes, "Jim was always one step ahead of the game.". Footnotes for Pizza Hut condiment: Blue Cheese Dressing. It evaporated." "Jim Leprino walked in here and was like,'Ah, this reminds me of the old days.'" Not offering peppers and parmesan with pizza … Pizza Hut's cheese supplier has addressed past concerns over the cheese's ingredients. Essentially, there is little difference between Pizza Hut's mozzarella and regular mozzarella. Its Italian sausage is all natural and sourced from U.S. farmers, and its meatballs are free of any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Every Monday at 11:30 a.m., Leprino walks down to the test kitchen along with two dozen of his most trusted executives for the weekly Monday Melts meeting like the one I attended. Leprino's competitors, still mostly run by Italian-Americans with strong immigrant roots, sniffed. Source: Nutrient data for this listing was provided by Pizza Hut. The storage warehouse at Leprino Foods newest plant in Greeley, Colorado. This... [+] 1978 company portrait is the only known image of Leprino Foods’ founder (right). The Big Italy. Accustomed to high altitude, he settled in Denver; without much of an education or the ability to read and write English, he began farming. Meanwhile, Leprino will pursue new markets. Frozen pizzas, introduced after soldiers returned home from WWII craving slices, were also gaining popularity. In North America, Pizza Hut has notably sold: pan pizza, baked in a pan with a crispy edge; stuffed crust pizza, with the outermost edge wrapped around a cylinder of mozzarella cheese; "hand-tossed", more … A quarter cup serving of shredded part-skim mozzarella has 90 calories and 6 grams of total fat. It's Leprino Foods' most expensive cheese — and its fastest-growing. Topped with grated parmesan and a blend … And for now he'll continue to ensure that Leprino cheese is on as many American pizzas as possible — as well as Asian and European ones (Leprino has a joint venture with the U.K.'s Glanbia Cheese). Leprino Foods' production rose sixteenfold, to 2 million pounds of cheese a week. Over the next two decades, Leprino Foods also signed sweetheart deals with co-ops that eventually became the Dairy Farmers of America, securing a lasting milk supply with the country's largest dairy co-op; the company also purchased and renovated some of the older dairy plants, cutting off the options for competitors who wanted to process milk. One creation, Bacio ("kiss" in Italian), is catering to artisanal-pizza-makers by offering mozzarella with a kiss of buffalo milk. And while Little Caesars uses other vendors--industry insiders say Leprino isn't exclusive with Little Caesars, in part because the chain's blend uses Muenster cheese, too — Leprino president Mike Durkin predicts that Little Caesars will eventually succumb. You Must Request Contactless And/Or Curbside Pickup. "They are a biotech company that is wrapped inside a food business," Zimmerman says. "Jim came at me and said,'It's going to cost you three more cents a pound.' Indeed he does, to a nearly unprecedented degree, given the way he dominates his industry. For example, the Wisconsin 6 Cheese pizza comes with mozzarella, feta, provolone, cheddar, Parmesan, and Asiago baked to perfection on a -Parmesan or Asiago crust. "I would tell people,'Lester is the man that made me rich,'" Leprino says. After graduating high school in 1956, he started working with his father full-time and shared a revelation: "Pizzerias in this part of the country were buying 5,000 pounds of cheese a week," he recalls. Pizza Hut: Pizza Hut Ingredient Statement, The Milkwood: Silicone–Based Chemical in Pizza Hut’s Cheese-Polydimethylsiloxane, The Milkwood: Leprino Foods: No Polydimethylsiloxane in Pizza Cheese, Livestrong Daily Plate: Mozzarella Cheese, Part-Skim, Shredded, PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION. And by 1991, Leprino had become the exclusive supplier for Papa John's, which launched in 1985. ", He wasn't always so hands-off. "It's hard for me to believe I agreed to this," the 79-year-old billionaire says. Just as his timing ahead of America's pizza boom proved lucky, so did his location in the center of the country. "We don't discuss Papa John's business with Domino's — or anybody else's." it's one of the few pizza huts left in my country and maybe the whole world that still does … That means that three percent of the total cheese in production in the world is bought by Pizza Hut. He speaks with former president Wes Allen (left). I cover all things food and drink as a staff writer at Forbes, from billionaires and ag tech startups to CPG entrepreneurs and wine. When I said I didn't like it, he took it personally." But the franchise-friendly process quickly became the industry standard, both for consistency and scalability. None of that spray on flavoring. They could even make a reduced fat "cheddar" by using a mozzarella base and then misting on cheddar flavor and orange food coloring. While Leprino got rich, Kielsmeier — who came to work every day right until his death at 95 in 2012 — would have to content himself with being very well paid. Another course features frozen food made with Leprino products, including ham-and-cheddar Hot Pockets, Stouffer's lasagna and Smart Ones baked ziti. "It didn't perform well for our pizza, which is cooked in a home oven," Graham says. Then come flavored cheeses made with a mozzarella base, as well as provolone, cheddar and Monterey Jack. "Your employees have got to know you're not a phony," he says. And I know I’m not the only one that loves it, either. Pizza Hut uses a lot of cheese. Another year went by, and Domino's began delivering pizza, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. One pizza entrepreneur puts it this way about the man who owns 100% of this mozzarella giant: "Jim Leprino is a very powerful man.". On top of that, they use … More than three decades later, in 1950, he finally opened a grocery store to sell the produce he grew. Ascent's space sits atop the original cheese factory's loading dock and warehouse. This pizza does not contain an abundance of cheese as we tend to use in America, as you want all three colors to shine through. With a patent in place, Leprino made himself indispensable. And the immigrant's son has no intention to retire, ever. Brush the crusts … As the diamonds of his watch bezel shimmer on his wrist, Leprino takes out his beat-up black leather wallet, removes the rubber band holding it shut and reveals a card featuring the four company watchwords: quality, service, price, ethics. "I remember the first day that we had this set up," says Mike Arnold, who is overseeing Ascent's launch. Two floors above this dairy deluge, in a dark-wood-paneled office with white marble floors, Corinthian columns and gold accents, sits James Leprino, the Willy Wonka of cheese. First, thin wisps of low-moisture mozzarella, then a diced alternative, followed by an "artisanal" version, cut short and wide. "We treat every customer like our only customer," says Mike Durkin, a former Pepsi executive who came on six years ago to run day-to-day operations as president of Leprino Foods. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. A blend of Muenster and Mozzarella. There is plenty of history to remind Ascent's team of their roots. Inspired by the 1964 World's Fair in New York, Leprino traveled to Japan to meet with scientists using milk proteins derived from whey to help the Japanese population grow taller. Leprino had the foresight to engage in some arbitrage, locking California dairy farmers into multi-decade contracts at rates that were often above-market locally but below-market nationally. Pizza Hut, the originator of the stuffed crust pizza, has just unveiled a Grilled Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza. Comes with your choice of Marinara or Ranch dipping sauce. Pizza Hut's recent decision to put a plant-based cheese option on their menu is the latest example of this fast growing trend. After an hour, the plastic shot glasses appear for sampling the company's lactose and whey powders, which end up in protein bars, Yoplait yogurt, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel and baby formula consumed by millions of infants annually. It’s one of my top favorite foods next to kale and cake. While Leprino still produces whey protein as a by-product of making cheese for its clients, Ascent is filtered straight from raw milk to protect key proteins and vitamins that help aid muscle recovery. As delivery-focused Domino's expanded, Leprino's head cheese maker, Lester Kielsmeier, manipulated the product so that it retained its fresh-out-of-the-oven look and taste longer. I head up the 30 Under 30 Food and. I also cover beauty and personal care. The company announced Tuesday that its “Original Pan Pizza” is being completely remade, including a new cheese blend, sauce … Leprino Foods' genesis lies in the mountains of southern Italy, which Mike Leprino Sr. left in 1914, at age 16. Within two months, Leprino switched Papa John's back to the previous blend. Related: Pizza Hut - Pizza Review from Winston, Georgia. Part-skim mozzarella usually does not have any cholesterol but does have approximately 210 milligrams of sodium. His laser focus on large pizza chains has allowed him to control as much as 85% of the market for pizza cheese and somehow sell simultaneously to a set of customers — Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa John's and Little Caesars — that try to cut each others' throat in every way that doesn't involve where they buy their milk products. Quality is listed first intentionally. Leprino Foods is a company based in Colorado and the largest mozzarella cheese producer in the world, according to the company's website. The executives test samples of the cheese produced for some 300 clients in 40 countries and check every complaint received the week before. However, Leprino Foods states that no such chemical is used in the processing of its mozzarella cheese and that Leprino Foods fully complies with FDA regulations. Introduced in 1995, the Stuffed Crust Pizza, which includes sticks of mozzarella string cheese loaded into the dough before baking, increased business at Pizza Hut by 37 percent. Send tips to csorvino@forbes.com. Our Hand-Tossed Style dough wrapped around Pepperoni and pizza cheese, and then generously seasoned with garlic and parmesan. American consumption of cheese increased by nearly 30% in 10 years because the dairy industry is spending big bucks to promote pizza … Terms of Use Additional Charge For Extra Cheese, Stuffed Crust, Pan, And Extra Toppings May Apply. "The company was growing so fast they were missing this important message.". It's also created an in-house "innovation studio," designed to ride the coattails of food trends. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. . any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Italian specialties followed, including fresh ricotta, mozzarella balls and ravioli made by James' sister Angie. Delivering pizza, which is cooked in a home oven, Leprino Foods ' genesis lies in the world information! The June 13, 2017 issue of Forbes top favorite Foods next to kale and cake at. The enormous amount of cheese is available in part-skim, fat-free or whole milk mozzarella cheese Leprino... Portrait is the only one that loves it, he did n't time! America 's pizza boom proved lucky, so did his location in the world at 16... Ham-And-Cheddar hot Pockets, Stouffer 's lasagna and Smart Ones baked ziti also created an in-house `` innovation,... And ravioli made by James ' sister Angie golden brown 1991, Leprino never gave any. 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