Delivering What Pizza Customers Want (Infographic)

Quality, variety key for category, says new Technomic study

Technomic pizza

CHICAGO -- Pizza consumption is high. In fact, consumers told Technomic Inc. that they eat pizza about 3.4 times a month. In addition to traditional pizza formats, today's expanded retail options and the emergence of the trendy fast-casual pizza segment are giving consumers plenty of ways to satisfy their pizza cravings.

Yet consumers told the food industry consulting and research firm that they want to see even more variety on pizza menus. They are calling for more toppings and a wider assortment of offerings--such as pizza by the slice and portable pizza snacks they can eat on the go. Additionally, quality and freshness are factoring more strongly into today's pizza purchasing decisions.

"Consumers are setting new standards for the quality and variety they expect," said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic. "The fast-casual pizza segment is succeeding because it's matching customers' needs for quality, freshness and the ability to choose from among a broader selection of ingredients."

Tristano also says that for pizza operators to stay competitive and steal share, they will have to strengthen the quality perception by promoting freshness and customization opportunities, while giving consumers a more interesting range of toppings, crusts and other options that emphasize variety.

The Pizza Consumer Trend Report found:

  • Fast casual is driving the evolution of the pizza landscape: 55% of consumers purchase fast-casual pizza at least once a month
  • Diners want more variety: 74%, up from 70% in 2012, say that a wide variety of toppings is important in creating a good pizza
  • Quality and freshness are crucial: 43% of consumers visit their preferred pizza concept because it uses fresh, high-quality ingredients; 84% say that fresh toppings are important.

Chicago-based Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support. Its services include publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.