When you think of political lobbyists, you probably think of civil rights groups at best and sleazy special tobacco hucksters at worst. You probably don’t think of Pizza Hut.
A new report by Bloomberg Business sheds light on the goals and challenges faced by the American Pizza Community, a pizza lobby dedicated to protecting the the interests of, well, pizza makers. As it turns out, there’s a lot to protect. On any given day, 41 million Americans will eat a slice of pizza, and if pizza were a country, its sales alone would make it a top 100 country in the world based on GDP.
Now, we love pizza as much as anyone, but sadly the pizza lobby is not purely a force for good. If you wanted to know who keeps pushing American lawmakers to classify pizza as a vegetable in schools, it’s the pizza lobby. You don’t want to end up on the wrong side of big pizza.
Deep-dish agendas are funded by deep pockets, and the pizza lobby isn’t shy about donating to legislators who serve their interests. In the 2012 and 2014 election cycles, US pizza companies contributed more than $1.5 million to campaigns, with Pizza Hut accounting for nearly half the total. Of those contributions, 88 percent went to Republican candidates. Who knew that elephants had a soft spot for pizza?