Pizza is arguably America's most loved food and a 2020 Technomic reports that 43% Americans eat pizza at least once a week. The COVID-19 crisis further popularized pizza as the go-to restaurant meal because of its freshness, minimum contact handling, and easy delivery. There are several trends that pizzerias have adapted in 2020 to survive in a highly competitive environment and cater to their demanding customers. We look at five pizza trends that are shaping the food industry in 2020.
Clean and Healthy Alternatives
Many consumers nowadays tend to be health conscious. They prefer clean, healthy, and organic options to artificial additions in their foods. Pizzerias have not been left behind on green alternatives and many are now choosing clean ingredients to make their pizzas. Non-GMO and gluten free options and healthy toppings are the rage in 2020. Crusts made from cauliflower, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and zucchini have increased in popularity over the past year.
The cleaner and healthier options are not just limited to the pizzas, but the packaging as well. More consumers are biased towards eco-friendly pizza packaging and pizzerias that want to attract more customers should look for environmentally friendly packaging options.
Although digital marketing has been around, pizzerias are now focusing on social channels to advertise their pizzas. Research shows that most consumers, especially the Gen Z'ers, use reviews as a guide for choosing brands and companies to purchase from. This places pizzerias with rave reviews way ahead of their competitors. Additionally, consumers tend to spend more time on their phones scouring through social media pages. The COVID-19 situation has further increased visits to social platforms. This means that instead of relying on outdoor ads solely, pizzerias that want to reach a wider client base must employ an Omni-channel approach and advertise on popular social channels.
Some pizzerias have kept up with the healthy-conscious preferences of their customers by coming up with healthier protein alternatives for their toppings. Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, and Pieology are amongst the trend setters for plant-based proteins. These brands are experimenting with toppings that are purely plant-based but taste and feel like beef meatballs, Italian sausages, and diced chicken in terms of flavor and texture. This trend requires careful testing and constant consultation with the customers to obtain feedback and gauge whether your new additions are a hit or a miss.
Third-Party Delivery Services
Almost every pizzeria delivers meals to customers. The movement restrictions during the COVID-19 have compelled restaurants to improve their delivery services by using outsourced delivery services. The benefits of third party deliveries include easy access to trained drivers and riders, faster delivery of meals to customers, and free advertising from the delivery companies. On the other hand, restaurants cede control over what happens to the food once it is passed on to the delivery companies. Moreover, some third party delivery services charge up to 30% for their services, eating into the earnings of the restaurants. Either way, third party delivery companies have boosted the sales for many pizzerias and gained popularity.
Pizzerias can also invest in smarter pickup and delivery systems like heated lockers. These are great pick-up alternatives that guarantee food safety and speed up delivery costs without inflated costs.
Unlike in the past, pizza now comes in all shapes and forms, and can be eaten at any time. The ever-demanding consumers have popularized customized pizzas in 2020. Pizzerias now offer breakfast pizza, complete with eggs and sausage toppings, and dessert pizza, full of chocolate, nuts and sweet delicacies.
Bite pizzas and snack alternatives are also more appealing to younger generations that are always on the go. Pizzerias that incorporate a snack bar with heated lockers for pick-up are more likely to entice Gen Z than those that offer traditional pizza options only.
With over 95,000 pizzerias in the US alone, keeping up with the right trends can help you compete effectively. Customers want healthy pizzas with a variety of options to suit their individual needs.