Once New Zealanders got over the shock of Hell Pizza’s billboard made of rabbit fur, they were so quick to grab a bite of the new rabbit pizza, that the outlet sold out the product within three weeks of the launch.
On the back of the rabbit pizza, Hell recorded the highest ever week sales in the store’s 18-year history.
Wellington-based Hell tried to source more wild rabbit from its Southland suppliers; however, weather conditions defied the professional hunters.
Rabbits were first released in New Zealand by Captain Cook in 1777. They are considered a pest and can be hunted all year.
“We initially thought that 600kg would suffice, but soon realised that demand for the product was far greater than we forecast,” says Hell general manager Ben Cumming.
In the short time, Hell sold 6,562 pizzas which the restaurant equates to around 13,000 Kiwis trying the rabbit pizza.
Set up in 1996 by Callum Davies, Hell has branches in the UK, Korea, Canada and India. In 2006 it was sold to the franchise Tasman Pacific Foods which owns Burger King.
Hell Pizza is known for its controversial marketing campaign – in 2006, the pizza outlet marketed their Lust Pizza with 170,000 free condoms.
Rabbit Food Facts
- The USDA has stated that rabbit is the most nutritious meat known to man. It has about half the amount of cholesterol of chicken, turkey, beef, pork, or lamb and 33% less sodium than chicken.
- Rabbits will produce 6 pounds of meat on the same feed and water as a cow will produce 1 pound of meat on the same feed and water.
- Two rabbits can produce nine million kittens in three years
- “Easter Bunny Syndrome” is a phrase used to describe people that happily eat other meats but have an aversion to rabbit due to the “cute” factor. (Source: Yahoo News)