While taste is king, toppings and crust are becoming an increasingly more important purchase driver to consumers.

Americans are pizza junkies. So much so, that according to Technomic, 43% of consumers say they eat pizza more than once a week, most of which occurs off-premise. But what drives most consumers to purchase pizza?

It turns out, it’s all about what’s on top. According to Technomic, about 43% of people say they purchase pizza because their favorite pizza place offers a wide variety of high-quality toppings and 34% say that great quality toppings make for building a good pizza. That being said, pizza toppings are becoming more important as consumers are becoming more discerning about their specific pizza elements. Smithfield can help expand your pizza topping roster, from pepperoni and pulled pork, to sausage bacon and more. Our irresistible quality and variety can have pizza lovers coming back — pie after pie.

What’s New on the Menu?

Research by Technomic reveals that younger consumers are driving the need for operators to menu more unique and nontraditional pizza toppings and sauces. About 43% of consumers ages 18-34 say that they are more interested in trying pizza with unique toppings or ingredients than they were 2 years ago. What are consumers demanding more and more? Breakfast pizza. About 38% of consumers say that they would like operators to offer breakfast pizzas. Breakfast pizza, with ingredients such as eggs or sausage, can help expand variety and meet rising demands for all-day breakfast options. More generally, hamburger/cheesesteak pizzas, barbecue chicken/pork pizza and Mexican/Southwest style pizza are seeing an uptick in consumption for younger consumers.

What’s trending on top?

Protein is still a top consumer choice for pizza toppings. Older consumers tend to choose pork and beef toppings, while younger consumers opt for leaner proteins, such as chicken. The most ordered pizza toppings include pepperoni, bacon, ham, pork sausage and chicken. As more unique pizza options become available, items such as meatballs, steak and chicken sausage are growing on menus to satisfy today’s consumers’ more adventurous tastes. In addition, traditional toppings continue to dominate in LSRs and FSRs and more healthful options are on the rise, according to Technomic Pizza CTR, 2018.

Regional Flavors

Consumers are expressing interest in authentic regional food and flavor variations. In fact, chains who specialize in specific regional style pizza have been growing. About 49% of consumers expressed that they are more interested in pizza establishments that offer more authentic pizzas. Though most consumers are familiar with a few, there are more regional variations to be explored, including options such as Rhode Island-style grilled pizzas and up and coming favorites such as Sicilian and Neapolitan pizzas, and Detroit, St. Louis and Chicago styles. In fact, the New York style pizza is the most demanded in regional pizza offerings at establishments.

Wherever you want to take your pizza menu, Smithfield can be your go-to source for just about everything you need to excite your customers.  Our extensive selection of proteins offers you the variety and versatility to create the kinds of signature pies that will build bigger business and give you a competitive advantage in the crowded pizza marketplace.

Smithfield Culinary has the extensive portfolio of products that are perfect for building your sandwich business. For more information, contact your Smithfield Culinary representative, or call 888-327-6526.

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