Pizza Today - September 2019 - 41

EER
BY DENISE GR
JOSH KEOWN

Cauliflower crust pizza, a go-to alternative

C

auliflower is everywhere these days, from
rice to mashed potatoes to pizza. It's a
flowering member of the cabbage family.
Known as cruciferous vegetable, the
nutrient-dense cauliflower is the chameleon of the
group that can be transformed into a variety of foods.
It can be minced, mashed, riced and even cooked,
dehydrated and milled. Cauliflower is mild and takes
on the flavor of whatever you combine with it.
It's no wonder cauliflower has become the lowcarb, gluten-free go-to alternative. Major pizza
chains like Blaze, California Pizza Kitchen and Jet's
have introduced their own cauliflower crust.

says they sell about 100 pies a week, a great number
for an unknown product. "It pairs well with pizza
toppings," he says. "It's not bland. It's seasoned well.
It complements the ingredients versus your traditional gluten free."
Cauliflower sales are pulling from gluten-free
sales a bit, he says. "They are the ones that seem to
be shifting from gluten free to cauliflower because
there is a better flavor profile than the options they
were given under gluten free." And it's not just
gluten-intolerant customers. "I'd say 90 percent to
95 percent just have a lower level tolerance with it or
are doing it for their own reasons," he says.

THOUGH CAULIFLOWER HAS BEEN A SUBSTITUTE
CRUST SINCE THE LATE 2000S, it began to pick up

CRAIG AND MAGRIPLIS OFFER ADVICE TO OPERATORS WHO ARE LOOKING TO ADD A CAULIFLOWER
CRUST. "The first thing I would recommend is to

steam a few short years ago. During that time, the
marketing research firm Nielsen reported sales of
cauliflower-based products soared 71 percent and
they haven't waned since.
That's about the time that Doug Craig introduced
a cauliflower crust to please one specific customer
who wanted a gluten-free option at his 900-squarefoot takeout and delivery pizzeria in Findlay, Ohio.
Dougie John's Pizza was one of the first in the area
to menu a cauliflower crust pizza. Fast-forward two
years, the cauliflower crust is a hot seller. Wednesday
is $10 Cauliflower at Dougie John and includes a
10-inch pizza with up to four toppings.
Dougie John uses a pre-made, par-baked cauliflower crust he sources from his supplier. Though
when Craig launched it, he went with a crust he
found at a local restaurant supply store. "We have
a deck oven, so we felt like the crust was made
more for a home oven. It was almost overcooking
that crust at the temperature we bake at," he notes,
adding that they've switched to another brand that
tested better at Dougie John's oven temperature.
At around $2.60 per crust, pricing is critical, he
says, adding that there's no waste with that crust.
His pricing strategy was to take the price of Dougie
John's regular 10-inch pizza crust and add $3 to
cover the cost. "I feel like everyone gets it," he says.
"If it's healthier, it's going to cost more.
"Our biggest seller is a veggie," he says. "Our
second best are our chicken, bacon ranch and buffalo
chicken bacon ranch. We also make it into a garlic
cauliflower cheese crust like garlic cheese bread."
CHESHIRE PIZZA & ALE DEBUTED ITS CAULIFLOWER CRUST IN JANUARY. Co-owner Dimitri Magriplis

find a good quality crust that gets crispy," Craig says.
"We find that that's what people are looking for. The
second thing is you want to find a crust that bakes
well at a high oven temperature. Some of the crusts
would actually burn on the bottom. They would
get too done. The crust maybe wasn't designed for
commercial use. I could buy them cheaper, but it
wouldn't give me the same quality that I have using
the (product that I have). I make sure that my supplier knows that (others) are selling them for this,
and they've worked with me on the price. Price is
definitely something you want to discuss but being
an independent, you always want to take quality
over a cheaper price in my opinion."
Think before you leap. "It's not something I would
take and throw on my menu without knowing that
there is a draw from my clientele," Magriplis says.
"Depending on the type of establishment that you
have, whether it is more dine in. Keep in mind this
product cooks quickly so it needs to be eaten quickly
because it will cool quicker. If it's takeout or delivery
and you are looking at 20- to 40-minute turnaround
time, I wouldn't feel comfortable as an operator
endorsing the integrity of the product after that
much time has lapsed."
Magriplis goes on to say, "It's not so much the
brands going up against each other as much as it
is finding the sweet spot based on the type of oven
you use. The issues that you encounter with that is
in finding the sweet spot in how long you are going
to cook. In our case we use conveyor ovens. I can't
run it on the belt the same way I run my normal
pie so I kind of run it through the middle. "Your
toppings need enough time to cook in order for it
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 4 1


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Pizza Today - September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - September 2019

Pizza Today - September 2019
Commentary
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
@ Pizza Today
Conversation
Man on the Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
Payment Options
Cheese Blends
Flatbread Pizza
Cauliflower Crust
Raising Wages
Pizza & Pasta Northeast Preview
The New Wave of American Pizza
Pizza Today on the Road: New York City Tour
Preferred Supplier
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - September 2019 - CT1
Pizza Today - September 2019 - CT2
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Pizza Today - September 2019
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cover2
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Commentary
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 4
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 5
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 6
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 7
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Contributors
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 9
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 11
Pizza Today - September 2019 - @ Pizza Today
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 13
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Conversation
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 15
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 17
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 19
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 21
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 22
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 23
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Destinations
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 25
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Payment Options
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 27
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 28
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 29
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 30
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 31
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cheese Blends
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 33
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 34
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 35
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Flatbread Pizza
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 37
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 38
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 39
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cauliflower Crust
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 41
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 42
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 43
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Raising Wages
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 45
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 46
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 47
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Pizza & Pasta Northeast Preview
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 49
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 50
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 51
Pizza Today - September 2019 - The New Wave of American Pizza
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 53
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 54
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 55
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Pizza Today on the Road: New York City Tour
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 57
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 58
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 59
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 60
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 61
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 62
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 63
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 64
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 65
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 66
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 67
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Preferred Supplier
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 69
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 70
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 71
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 73
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 74
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 75
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 76
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 77
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 78
Pizza Today - September 2019 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 80
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 81
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 82
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 83
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 84
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 85
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 86
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 87
Pizza Today - September 2019 - 88
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cover3
Pizza Today - September 2019 - Cover4
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