Unlocking new growth opportunities

Our challenge.

Fast-casual dining is one of the few areas of growth in a struggling casual dining sector. PizzaExpress had the ambition to stretch into this new category and take advantage of consumers looking for more interesting lunchtime options and specifically Pizza to go.

To develop a winning brand proposition and experience to unlock growth in the adjacent and blossoming grab & go sector.


CLEAR worked with PizzaExpress to highlight fast-track innovation opportunities to rapidly test with consumers using our Crowd-Learning methodology. Consumers were asked to pick a proposition from PizzaExpress that they'd buy shares in and the ‘by the slice’ proposition won out.

To create Za, we unearthed Pizza Express's 1965 origins as a ‘to go’ pizza vendor selling slices from a window hatch. We delivered the entire Za proposition - the name, balanced brand identity, irreverent tone of voice, innovative packaging, environmental graphics, digital signage that reacts to the time of day and an in-store experience complete with fresh herbs to pick and add to your own food.

Pizza by the slice, since 1965

Within 12 months, the new grab & go concept moved from blank sheet to the London test site launch in February 2019 with two more set to follow within the year.

Za, takes us into a new area and we look forward to welcoming commuters to our first location in Fenchurch Place, London

Zoe Bowley, MD, PizzaExpress

Peter Boizot and his original ideas were our inspiration - he was passionate about enjoying the time you have - whether that’s a little or a lot. He believed that a bit of what you fancy does you good. He challenged conventions whilst encouraging customers and friends to keep everything in balance. So, a bit of pizza, but not a whole one.

Based on Peter's point of view, the 'Za life' philosophy sits behind the choices we made in creating in Za. From where the coffee comes from, to the protein value of the dough recipes balanced with incredible flavours, to new fast innovative packaging formats and specially created cocktails on tap. So - stay a while, hang out or grab some doughballs, a beer and catch the train!

Stephen Haggarty, Executive Creative Director, CLEAR