Pizza remains a crowd-pleasing favorite among Americans. With 43% of consumers spending their hard earned dollars on pizza at least once a week, it’s no wonder food service operators are clambering for a slice of their business. But to remain competitive, it may take more than the old tried-and-true varieties. Today’s consumers are pushing operators to move beyond the classics and offer options that satisfy their latest pizza cravings.
So, while food service operators can mix and match, and customize their pies ‘til their dough’s delight, the best of the bunch are capitalizing on these tastyt trends. Here’s what’s making the cut!
As people become more health-conscious, they’re looking for ways to turn traditional comfort foods into healthy alternatives. And, pizza is no exception. Cauliflower crusts are taking hold as more restaurants look to accommodate gluten-free, low-carb, and whole-food diner demands. While we don’t see “the real stuff” going away, it’s not a bad idea to offer at least one nutritious option like our cruciferous friend — the cauliflower crust.
While tomato-based sauces remain a crowd favorite, tomato-free alternatives like beet or garlic-oil sauces are picking up speed as consumers look for gut-healthy, nightshade-free alternatives to the red stuff. But this hot trend isn’t only health driven. Hungry pizza-goers are after more adventurous options, healthy or not. Chefs are rising to the challenge and mixing menus up with less traditional pizza sauces like muhammara (aka roasted red pepper spread), alfredo, barbecue, and olive tapenade.
Globally inspired flavors are finding their way into everything from kids’ meals to breakfast foods, desserts and (of course) pizza. With African, Peruvian, Ethiopian and Filipino flavors topping the popularity list, savvy restaurant operators are working hard to make these bold and exciting flavors approachable and accessible to the masses. And, what better way to do that than by way of popular foods like pizza!
As consumers become more conscientious about food waste, food operators are taking a closer look at what ends up in the trash. By topping pizzas with food scraps, “ugly” or damaged produce, and less conventional cuts of meat, restaurants can feed this sustainability trend while saving themselves a few bucks. But, don’t be fooled — these zero-waste delights look just as good as they taste!
The vegetable-centric movement is heating up as veggies begin to receive the attention that has traditionally been reserved for proteins. Vegetarians and meat lovers alike are in search of pizzas topped with “meaty” options like eggplant and cabbage, seasonal and local produce, and colorful (dare we say, Instagram-worthy) varieties paired with bold flavors. With so many drivers — clean eating, sustainability and local-first — this trend will only continue to pick up steam.
Fresh made fast
Consumers want the best of both worlds — high-quality, fresh ingredients with the speed and convenience they’ve come to know with foods like pizza. So, while many chefs are increasingly replacing store-bought and processed ingredients with homemade and homegrown alternatives, they’re also looking for ways to keep operations humming along with solutions like speed-inducing oven equipment.
According to Technomic’s latest Pizza Consumer Trend Report, 44% of consumers say that they choose pizza operators based on who offers the best crust. And, can you blame them? Flavorless, cardboard-inspired crust has never been a popular pizza attribute. Additionally, consumers won’t just hand over their loyalty. They expect a delicious and consistent crust every time they dine. As a result, restaurants are fine-tuning crust recipes and investing in high-quality cooking equipment that’ll guarantee a perfectly cooked crust.
A cut above the rest.
Trends come and go, but one thing never changes: Consumers expect tasty pizza. At Ovention, we’re proud of our ability to provide solutions, like our Double MiLO® oven or the Ovention Shuttle, that meet the needs of our operators and their customers. To learn more about how Ovention ovens® can infuse speed, quality and consistency into your pizza operations, visit us now!
Our goal is to partner with you to help you build your business. We will set up a demonstration that suits your needs, whether you want us to cook your current product, show you a range of new products, or do a side-by-side comparison with another oven we are ready to show you what Ovention can do.
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