KANSAS CITY — Pizza innovation is trending in the food service space as restaurants fight to get a slice of the growing market for the Italian favorite.
Two out of three Americans eat pizza every week, according to Datassential’s Menu Trends Report on Pizza, and demand for premium toppings and personalized pies is on the rise.
“The pizza market is changing, and this versatile dish is both exemplifying and driving a number of industry trends, from premium toppings to customization,” Datassential said.
MOD Pizza is embracing one of these premium toppings by offering a pizza topped with asparagus, which is one of the pizza “megatrends” identified by Datassential. The vegetable-laden pie, deemed The Cooper, features roasted asparagus, red peppers, red onion, Italian sausage, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses and basil.
|Brian Figler, culinary manager at MOD Pizza|
“The Cooper highlights fresh asparagus that is roasted in-house daily and bursting with fragrant flavors,” said Brian Figler, culinary manager at MOD Pizza. “We love showcasing seasonal vegetables that we hope will encourage people to experiment with ingredients they may not immediately associate with pizza.”
Your Pie, a customized pizza franchise, features another Datassential pizza “megatrend”: avocados. The franchise even describes its new Fresh Fiesta Pie as ‘deconstructed guacamole.’ The pizza features an olive oil base and is topped with white cheddar cheese, tomatoes, red onion, corn, jalapeños, garlic and a pinch of salt. After it’s baked in the brick oven, the pizza is finished with cilantro, slices of avocado and a spritz of lime.
|Drew French, founder of Your Pie|
“We’re excited to continue on with our tradition of innovation,” said Drew French, founder of Your Pie. “Just about everyone loves the fresh, creamy flavor of fresh avocado — especially when it’s used to create the perfect guacamole. Avocado is really the star of the show when it comes to our newest pizza, and it’s easily one of our freshest pies to date.”
These uncommon pizza toppings are gaining steam, and adventurous flavor fusions are close behind. Datassential found that 11% of Americans say a “truly great” pizza offers unique flavor combinations.
Chuck E. Cheese’s is catering to that consumer looking for an out-of-the-ordinary culinary experience with its new Spaghetti & Meatball Pizza. Made with hand-stretched dough, the pizza is topped with tomato sauce, pasta, melted mozzarella cheese and savory meatballs.
|Chef Gregory Casale, senior director of culinary innovation for CEC Entertainment, Inc.|
“Spaghetti and meatballs is an American staple the whole family loves,” said Chef Gregory Casale, senior director of culinary innovation for CEC Entertainment, Inc. “Our Spaghetti & Meatball pizza gives us one more way to show our guests we’re serious about bringing them the very best in culinary innovation.”