People can’t get enough pizza, and that’s not going to change. However, tastes and trends are always evolving, and with the latest innovations, adapting your pizza menu can help ensure you keep rolling in the dough.
The good news for pizza pros is this: The industry is expected to increase by another $42.4 million by 2025. According to the latest Pizza Today report¹, the increase in sales can be attributed to several factors, including the growing popularity of plant-based toppings, pizzerias keeping up with trends and styles, and the increase in consumers opting for pizza as a convenient meal option. Here we take a deep dive into the pizza industry and dish up ideas to work the latest trends into your menu.
Any Way You Slice It
While New York-style pizza will always reign supreme, both Detroit style and Tavern style (a thin Chicago-style pizza that’s often cut in squares) saw a rise in popularity last year with no signs of slowing down. This year, also look out for Roman-style pizzas to be trending. This rectangular pie piles toppings right up to the edge of the crust, and interestingly, it’s usually priced by weight, which makes it a good choice for your profit margins. With artisanal-style Roma® Dough, you can whip up any of these popular styles that consumers crave while saving time and money.
Push Past Pepperoni
Pepperoni is always in our hearts and on our pizzas. And while you can’t go wrong with classics like Ultimo!® Beef and Pork toppings, consider mixing it up with some new creative and unique topping combos in 2023. Mushrooms were on the rise last year, with 8.9% more topping pizzas than in years past. This year, you can expect to see ingredients like pickles, sweet mayo chili sauce, cherry peppers, and seafood make their debut on more pies than ever before. Your pies are a playground for trending flavors and incorporating LTO toppings to address those trends.
Make Space for Plant-Based
Consumers are looking for more plant-based ingredients across the board and especially on their pizzas. According to the Pizza Today report, 22% of customers want restaurants to offer plant-based options. Consider including a plant-based cheese alternative and plant-based ‘meat’ toppings, such as pepperoni and sausage to better connect with this audience. Performance Foodservice’s Green Origin® brand offers a full line of plant-based toppings to appease specific diets and diners looking to eat a little healthier. Just remember to price these premium toppings accordingly so they don’t eat into your bottom line.
As in most restaurants, especially fast casual, consumers expect technology to make their experience smoother. Tech in the pizza world is all about convenience. According to Pizza Today, 42% of consumers find an online ordering system where they can track their pizza order to be appealing and 38% want curbside pickup availability. Beyond that, 23% of American consumers would like to order pizza from their smart TV, which is a 20% increase from 2020. Emerging technology once thought to be sci-fi fiction could also help lower labor costs and streamline processes. While robotic solutions may not be applicable for all restaurants right now, One Source partner, Bear Robotics, can demonstrate how to increase efficiency and retain top talent while providing exceptional customer service.
Consumers love to show off their support of brands they love, especially when your branding is authentic, creative, and unique. Whether it’s a shirt with a funny pizza cartoon, vibrant colors, sustainable fabrics, stickers, or convenient totes and water bottles, it’s a win-win to offer merchandise. In fact, 22.8 percent of pizzeria owners say merchandise is an excellent additional revenue stream for their business, the fourth-most popular driver of additional revenue behind catering (54.1 percent). This is a very easy and fun way to market your business to the masses.
¹State of the Pizzeria Industry Report 2023 – Pizza Today