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Pizza Hut is feeling the pressure after being dethroned as the top pizza chain brand

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After four years of being crowned the "best pizza chain brand of the year," Pizza Hut was recently dethroned from the top spot after rival Papa Johns saw a boost in its franchises, CNBC reported. That's resulting in bleak prospects for the pizza chain in 2018. 

The Harris Poll study based the rankings on familiarity, quality, and purchase consideration, of about 90 restaurants. 

The survey, however, was conducted before Yum Brands disclosed it would be investing about $130 million into Pizza Hut in an attempt to revitalize sales.

It's expected that the investment will finance upgraded equipment, improve restaurant technology and increase advertising through 2018.

During an earnings call, Yum's CEO Greg Creed expressed confidence in the franchise to win back customers, saying the investment would "unlock significant value for years to come."

And, according to Mark Kalinowski, an analyst for the electronic trading company, Nomura-Instinet, Pizza Hut will no longer be a dominant player in pizza in 2018. Instead, he added, Domino's will take over.

"For 2017, we expect that Domino's will earn 14.1 percent market share, surpassing Pizza Hut, which we project will end 2017 with 13.3 percent market share," Kalinowski said in a research note Wednesday.


Technomic data recently showed that Pizza Hut's share of the limited-service pizza category has declined from 25 percent in 1996 to just 14.3 percent in 2016. 

Pizza Hut is feeling the pressure after being dethroned as the top pizza chain brand

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