Baking & Snack - October 2015 - 35


Outside P
of the
Pizza Box

by Charlotte Atchley

In a saturated category, pizza
manufacturers must go beyond
round crusts, traditional tomato
sauce and mozzarella to engage
consumers' maturing palates.

Pizza is a staple meal in the American diet. It's a
food category that isn't going anywhere; that, however, is both blessing and curse. Pizza may be here
to stay, ingrained in a family's meal plan rotation,
but the category is also saturated and doesn't have
much room to grow.
"Pizza has matured to the point where the majority of Americans eat it, but it's hard to grow it,"
said Dave Foran, vice-president, sales and marketing, Little Lady Foods, Inc., Elk Grove Village, IL.
According to a June 2014 report on pizza by
Mintel, Chicago, pizza at the retail level experienced flat sales between 2009 and 2014. Frozen
pizzas controlled 82% of the market in 2014, but
Mintel forecasted those sales would decline into
2019. Analysts at Mintel attribute all of this to a
recovering economy and growing consumer confidence. When consumers have the money, they will
splurge for restaurant pizza rather than "settling"
for store-bought.
Pizza manufacturers can use this to their advantage if they invest in quality. Consumers today
are looking for upscale food and bringing the restaurant experience home. "Once you start tasting
what's good, you don't want to go back," said David
Mafoud, principal, Damascus Bakery, Newark, NJ.
"Your palate knows it, and you're not going to go
backwards on quality."
This is most notable among millennials who
crave upscale food and innovative flavor combinaPizza is a category that remains strong with consumers, but to grab their
attention, pizza manufacturers have to go beyond traditional pies.
Shutterstock / October 2015 Baking & Snack 35

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