Pizza Hut created the mass market for stuffed-crust pizza nearly 20 years ago, and has dominated it since, but its upcoming 3-Cheese Stuffed Crust variety could push the menu line into a $1 billion category on its own within three years, brand officials indicated.

With the debut of the 3-Cheese Stuffed Crust, which launches nationwide Oct. 20, Pizza Hut believes it could widen its lead in that line of business and generate $1 billion in annual sales from its Stuffed Crust category, spokesman Doug Terfehr said in an email. After garnering $300 million in sales when it launched in 1995, Stuffed Crust Pizza now accounts for approximately 10 percent of Pizza Hut’s sales, he added.

The 3-Cheese Stuffed Crust will feature a blend of white Cheddar, mozzarella and provolone cheeses in the crust, and will be Pizza Hut’s first permanent new pizza since the original Stuffed Crust launched. A large, one-topping 3-Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza will be sold for $12.

In a statement, chief marketing officer Kurt Kane called the original Stuffed Crust Pizza “one of the most iconic products ever introduced in the restaurant industry” and held it up as an example of Pizza Hut’s ability to lead the segment through menu development.

“People loved it and continue to love it, which is why we’re so excited about the development of our new 3-Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza,” Kane said. “Our 3-Cheese has a unique look and taste when compared to the original. Our innovation team has been perfecting a new permanent addition to our menu for a long time, and we nailed it.”

Among the three largest pizza brands in the United States, Pizza Hut has owned a stuffed-crust pie as a differentiator. Meanwhile, Domino’s has launched its Handmade Pan Pizza in the past year to compete in the market for Pizza Hut’s core pan pizza offering. Papa John’s Pizza and Domino’s also advertise just as heavily as Pizza Hut around value, going deal-for-deal with the chain to counter Pizza Hut’s $10 any-size pizza offer or the Big Dinner Box and $10 Dinner Box.