Consumers shifting pizza-ordering habits

by Staff
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CHICAGO — Technomic has found consumers are cutting back on ordering pizza during the week, but at the same time they are ordering more often on weekends, according to "Pizza Consumer Trend Report." The food service consultants said this is a sign consumers are cutting back on restaurant spending.

"We believe that increasing the consumption of pizza on weekends over weekdays is likely tied to consumers’ desire for more economical options," said Darren Tristano, executive vice-president of Technomic Information Services. "Instead of going out for a sit-down meal during the weekend and ordering pizza for dinner during the week, consumers are scaling back by having an affordable pizza meal on the weekend and preparing more weekday meals at home."

In 2006, Technomic found 35% of consumers said they would mainly order pizza for dinner during the week with 28% ordering pizza for dinner on the weekend. Today, consumers said 32% would order pizza on the weekend and 29% would order pizza during the week.

Technomic also found health and wellness is a consideration for 69% of consumers, but half of these consumers do not let their desire for healthier products influence their consumption behavior. In order to appeal to those interested in healthier products, pizza operators shouldn’t sacrifice taste but instead focus on ingredients known for health, such as all-natural, fresh and artisan products.

Frozen pizza is competing with food service pizza when it comes to quality and affordability. Food service operators should focus marketing efforts on what differentiates their products from retail options and creates more value for their pizza, Technomic said.

Technomic also found consumer preferences for pizza crust and sauces vary regionally and ethnically, with sweet sauces favored more in the Northeast and Asians choosing pesto sauce more than any other ethnic group.

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