Pizza Preferences

April 29/Chicago/Food & Beverage Close-Up --  According to a release, 62% of those polled say the most recent away-from-home pizza purchase was driven by a craving, followed most closely by 25% reporting it was more convenient than cooking. About one-fifth said price, coupons and promotions influenced the decision.

The findings are part of Technomic's new "Pizza Consumer Trend Report," designed to help operators and manufacturers better understand the changing pizza landscape and capitalize on opportunities for growth. Other findings include:
* 93% eat pizza at least once a month, and the average consumer eats pizza nearly three times per month.
* More consumers today are buying frozen pizza than were buying it in 2008 (81% compared to 74%).
* 17% say that new items influence where they buy pizza.
* 41% say they would like pizza establishments to offer healthier ingredients, examples being whole wheat crusts (42%), organic toppings and crusts (30% and 28%, respectively), and all-natural and locally-sourced ingredients (50% and 38%).
* Limited-service pizza chains are differentiating themselves from local independents by featuring specialty and signature pizzas.

"Operators and suppliers will want to consider what they can do to elicit consumer cravings through adding new items to their menus and emphasizing them through their marketing message," said Darren Tristano, EVP at Technomic. "Differentiation through pizzas that feature unique flavors and taste combinations that consumers cannot purchase elsewhere or make at home will likely help support this effort. Positioning pizza as a meal solution that is easy, convenient and affordable will resonate with many consumers."

From the May 10, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition