Papa John’s newest Shaq-backed innovation is pizza… folded in half

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Shaquille O’Neal has been on the Papa John’s board for roughly five months, and he finally has something to show for his time with the beleaguered pizza chain: the Papadia.

In a Twitter video that comes pretty close to insulting our intelligence with its highly contrived nature, Shaq “stealthily” takes us into a Papa John’s board meeting: “Shh, this is new stuff that Papa John’s coming out with,” he teases. “The board members don’t know I got my phone, about to taste-test some new food that’s not even out yet. Coming soon.”


What, pray tell, is this Area 51-status innovation that Shaq is about to share with us? It’s the Papadia.


He doesn’t explain the Papadia, so there is a chance I’m missing some crucial detail, but it appears to be a pizza, folded in half. At best, it’s maybe a calzone, a pizza pocket, or a Shaq-sized pita, but the more I rewatch the video, the more it just looks like a folded-in-half pizza cut into four square pieces.

I’m willing to admit that customers don’t need a ton of creativity from pizza chains: Combine carbs with cheese and some kind of sauce, and we’re pretty happy. (Yes, I will order both a pizza and cheese-breadstick to dunk in marinara. I know they’re the same food.)


But even given the winning formula of carbs + cheese + sauce, this feels lazy. Come on, Shaq, your fans expect more.