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Little Caesars' Hot-N-Ready Pizza No Longer Costs $5

(CBS/CNN) -- Not even Little Caesars is immune from price increases: The chain's signature $5 Hot-N-Ready pizza now costs 11% more.

Little Caesars is selling a "new and improved" version of the recognizable pizza, which has 33% more pepperoni and a new price of $5.55 — its first price increase in nearly 25 years. The pizza first went on sale in 2001 and differentiated itself from competitors because it was made ready for take-out without the need to pre-order it.

Despite the price increase, Little Caesars' said it's still sold at the "country's most affordable price" compared to its competitors large pepperoni pizzas. A similar pie at its rivals, including Domino's and Pizza Hut, costs between $13 and $16 depending on the location.

The revamped version of the Hot-N-Ready is a permanent menu change and the price could cost more in some cities after the nationwide promotional price ends after a "limited time."

Little Caesars recently announced plans for a significant expansion in New England. There are more than a dozen currently operating between Boston and Providence, but the company plans to open 50 new franchise units in the area by 2026.

"New England's metropolitan cities—Boston and Providence especially—are filled with aspiring entrepreneurs who value technology and innovation," Little Caesars Vice President of Franchise Development Craig Sherwood said in a statement.

Pizza sales have exploded during the pandemic, with sales at its publicly traded rivals growing over the past two years.

Prices for basically everything have also blossomed, even at restaurants were prices spiked 5.8% over the 12 months ending in November 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The sharp increases underscore the fact that restaurants and food makers are not immune to supply chain and labor pressures contributing to pricing increases across the board.

(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN's Jordan Valinsky contributed to this report.)

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