Casey's Pizza Express Locations to Serve as Test Sites

Plans more "pizza-only" stores in 2014, but will try out frozen yogurt, more

Casey's pizza

ANKENY, Iowa -- Convenience retailer Casey's General Stores Inc. has announced that its Pizza Express location in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, will become a special location for testing new products and offerings, including flatbread pizza, online ordering and frozen yogurt.

"We'll continue to serve up fresh homemade Casey's pizza, but we're excited for the future," the company said on Facebook. "Casey's General Stores is also actively seeking locations in the greater Des Moines area."

The success of the pizza-only concept has led to plans to open five more in the Des Moines metropolitan area next year, reported The Des Moines Register.

The efforts are aimed at expanding the Ankeny-based company's growth area, which is prepared food, Terry Handley, Casey's COO, told the newspaper. "This is a way we can supplement our business."

Handley said the new Pizza Express stores will likely be located in areas not now served by Casey's convenience stores.

Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey's, which sells gasoline, pizzas, doughnuts, fountain drinks and snacks at its 1,770 stores in 14 states, is going to capitalize on its strong pizza business. The company started pizza delivery in 2012 in Grimes, Iowa, and now has expanded that to 350 locations.

The company decided to try the pizza-only store, which opened in August, because of the strong demand for the Casey's pizzas at its Pleasant Hill c-store, said the report. The Pleasant Hill Pizza Express sells between 120 and 140 pizzas a day, through in-store pickup and delivery. The Pleasant Hill gas station continues to have strong pizza sales, with about 80 to 100 a day.

Casey's also announced Tuesday that it has added a flatbread pizza, which is a thin-crust version of the pizzas the company now sells. If that goes over well in the Pleasant Hill store, Casey's will roll it out to other locations, said the report.

The flatbread pizzas will cost the same as Casey's other pizzas, $11.99 for a large, single-topping pie and $15.99 for specialty pizzas.