The PizzaMarketplace State of the Industry 2012 is now available. The last time PizzaMarketplace.com published a State of the Industry overview was in 2010. The new report measures data against similar data from two years ago, and takes a look at some new trends as well.
To quantify the numbers, PizzaMarketplace.com surveyed about 150 operators on topics such as menu trends, marketing initiatives, technology upgrades, franchising, capital spending and general operations.
The report features more than 65 charts, graphs and data points, plus expert commentary, to show where the pizza segment is today, and where it is going tomorrow.
Among the questions asked in this survey:
- Have your prices increased, decreased or stay the same?
- What have your biggest menu changes been?
- What are your most effective ways of acquiring new customers, as well as maintaining relationships with current ones?
- Which advertising media are most effective for you?
Pizza in 2012 vs. 2010
One stark difference in the 2010 report compared to the new report is the improvement in optimism among pizza operators. Two years ago, as the country remained in the grip of the recession, survey respondents had a dismal outlook and were admittedly conservative with their capital spending.
This year's report shows some improvement in the outlook, however operators remain weary about subsegments in the economy that directly affect their business, such as high commodity and gas prices.
Another notable difference between the state of the pizza industry in 2010 and in 2012 is the growth of social media as part of brands' marketing strategies.
"Two years ago, social media was still murky territory. People were just finding their voices and their brand personalities. Now, companies – even independents – have full representation across a number of sites," said Alicia Kelso, editor of PizzaMarketplace.com. "It's not just about Facebook and Twitter anymore, it's about Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, so on and so forth. Brands have found their footing in social media and they know how to navigate it and use it to their advantage."
Other report highlights include:
- The top three menu trends for the pizza segment, according to the survey, are fresh, local produce, crusts made from different flours/grains and breakfast pizzas;
- When asked which media are most effective at acquiring new customers, print and social media tied at 30 percent each. Television was the most effective, according to 17 percent of those surveyed; and
- The growth in online ordering has continued at a steady pace – 47 percent of pizzerias offer it now, as compared to 41 percent two years ago.