Gluten-free and plant-based pizzas are trending.
Nestle USA is introducing DiGiorno Croissant Crust Pizzas, featuring flaky, layered croissant dough as the crust. The pies are available in three varieties: pepperoni, three meat and four cheese.
The pepperoni pizza is topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni made with pork, chicken and beef. Each 1/5-pizza serving contains 380 calories and 16 grams of protein.
The three meat variety features tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, beef, and sausage made with pork and chicken. Each 1/5-pizza serving contains 410 calories and 17 grams of protein.
The four cheese pie is made with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, asiago cheese and romano cheese. Each 1/5-pizza serving contains 370 calories and 16 grams of protein.
In May, Cappello’s added to its almond flour crust pizza portfolio with the new White Pizza and Margherita Pizza.
The grain-free White Pizza features spinach and caramelized onion atop a creamy white garlic sauce.
The Margherita Pizza is made with tomato, basil, roasted garlic and whole milk mozzarella.
“Now more than ever, our consumers are looking to classic comfort food favorites such as pizza to bring a sense of normalcy back into their lives,” said Ben Frohlichstein, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Cappello's. “As a brand that has been providing delicious, restaurant-quality foods in grocery stores for almost a decade, we are proud to have the opportunity to prepare delicious and nutritionally relevant options for anyone who needs a slice of pizza right about now.”
Daiya Foods, a subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical, in April introduced new Vegetable Crust Pizzas. They feature a vegetable-blend crust made with cauliflower, sweet potato and spinach. The pizzas are topped with feta-style and Parmesan-style cheese alternatives. The pies come in three varieties: Italian Herbs & Cheeze Style, Meatless Pepperoni Style with Jalapeño, and Mediterranean.
“During these uncertain times our customers — and their dietary needs — remain top of mind, and we're committed to continuing to provide them with the exceptional plant-based products that they have come to expect from Daiya,” said Michael Watt, chief executive officer of Daiya Foods. “I hope that our new offerings bring a smile to their faces and exceed their taste expectations.”
Amy’s Kitchen in March began offering new gluten-free pizzas packed with vegetables.
The new Veggie Crust Pizzas feature crusts made from organic cauliflower, sweet potato and broccoli topped with slow-simmered tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. The pizzas are available in cheese and spinach varieties.
“We are mindful of the consumer demand for not only adding more vegetables to their diet but for clean, organic ingredients,” said Fred Scarpulla, vice president of culinary for Amy’s Kitchen. “Amy’s is unique in our ability to deliver high quality, delicious organic meals. We’ve spent countless hours in our kitchens perfecting a veggie-centric crust that meets our consumers’ high expectations.”
The cheese pizza is made with organic tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil and contains 310 calories, 19 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving.
The spinach pizza, made with organic spinach and tomatoes, contains 240 calories, 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving. Both varieties are gluten-free, tree nut-free and kosher.
“Our consumers write to us about how they’re always looking for delicious ways to get more veggies in their diet, and our Veggie Crust Pizzas help make it easier to enjoy their favorite foods without the guilt (or gluten),” said Rachel Berliner, founder of Amy’s. “We thought, what if eating more veggies was as easy as eating more pizza?—and got to work.”
In April, Nestle SA launched Life Cuisine, a new brand designed to “feed modern lifestyles,” the company said. The lineup includes two gluten-free cauliflower crust pizzas that contain 18 grams of protein and 380 to 390 calories: pepperoni cauliflower crust pizza and three cheese cauliflower crust pizza.
Conagra Brands, Inc. in February unveiled Evol keto-friendly frozen pizzas. The pies feature grain-free crust made of chicken and Parmesan cheese. The uncured pepperoni variety features spicy uncured pepperoni and mozzarella cheese sprinkled over a tomato marinara sauce.
“If you’re on a low-carb diet, you probably feel like you can’t eat pizza,” said Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer of Conagra Brands. “Well, you can eat this pizza because the crust is not made of bread. It’s made of chicken and Parmesan cheese.”
Veroni, producer of Italian-made charcuterie, is pushing into the pizza category with its new line of Naples-style pizza kits.
The margherita pizzas are pre-cut into squares and packaged with a selection of Veroni’s cold cuts as toppings, including dry cured ham, Salame Milano, Salame Calabrese, and roasted pancetta. The pizzas are created from products imported directly from Italy to be cut and packaged in Veroni’s Logan, NJ, plant.
“Adding charcuterie to pizza is considered almost an art in Italy, and for our pizza we thought of four different options to satisfy both spice lovers and those who prefer more delicate flavor profiles,” said Stefano Poldi, plant manager at Veroni’s Logan facility.
The pizzas are ready to eat after 10 minutes in the oven at 400°F until the mozzarella is melted, and the charcuterie in the kits may be added before, during or after the cooking process, depending on preference. Each Veroni’s pizza kit retails for $9.99 at Stop & Shop and Giants’ stores.
Veroni’s pizza kits join the company’s Enjoy AperiTime product line, a portfolio designed for the American market. The name of the product range is based on the Italian ritual known as Aperitivo, which “aims to bring a touch of the authentic Italian lifestyle to the US and allow consumers to experience the ‘Dolce Vita’ style with every savory bite,” Veroni said.
In December 2019, Nestle USA revealed meatless DiGiorno pizza made with Sweet Earth Awesome Grounds, a plant-based ground beef alternative. Awesome Grounds are made from textured yellow pea protein, wheat gluten, canola oil and coconut oil and provide 16 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving.
The new DiGiorno Rising Crust Meatless Supreme pizza is topped with Sweet Earth Awesome Grounds plant-based protein, mozzarella cheese, green and red bell peppers, onions and black olives.
“There’s no denying the current modern food movement is revolutionizing the plant-based space,” said John Carmichael, president of the Nestle foods division. “By adding Sweet Earth Awesome Grounds to DiGiorno offerings, we’re able to offer our customers the chance to incorporate plant-based meals into their diets while still enjoying the same convenience and delicious flavor of brands they know and trust.”
Cali’flour Foods built on its portfolio of frozen cauliflower pizza crusts and flatbreads with a new line of frozen topped pizzas launched in September 2019.
Containing 7 to 8 grams of carbs and 18 to 21 grams of protein per serving, the gluten- and grain-free pizzas feature crust made with cauliflower, mozzarella cheese and egg whites. Varieties include uncured chicken pepperoni, classic cheese, supreme veggie and artisan Margherita.
“This new launch will be the lowest-carb frozen cauliflower pizza on the market,” the company said. “Cali’flour Foods’ newest innovation aims to reinvent the frozen section, making delicious and indulgent foods available to those with dietary restrictions or dedication to a healthy lifestyle.”
Kraft Heinz’s O, That’s Good! brand expanded its pizza line in July 2019 to include three new frozen thin-crust options: BBQ Chicken, Margherita and White. O, That’s Good! pizza crust is partially made with cauliflower.
Udi’s Pizza, a Conagra Brands company, in August 2019 launched Udi’s Sweet Potato Crust Four Cheese Pizza and BBQ Chicken Sweet Potato Crust Pizza. The pies are grain-free and gluten-free.
“We knew we wanted to offer a vegetable crust pizza, but we specifically chose to formulate with sweet potatoes because they provide flavor and sweetness to the crust and add an extra dimension to the pizza,” said Caitlin Davy, manager of brand communications, Conagra Brands. “We’ve seen people seeking alternatives like sweet potato and cauliflower crusts, grain- and gluten-free options, and more premium ingredients to meet lifestyle and dietary needs.”