The pizza segment turned in strong sales in Q1 2013, driven in large part by expanded flatbread offerings. GuestMetrics pulled numbers from its POS database, which showed more than $8 billion in sales in 2012 and 8.8 percent growth in Q1.

"While overall food sales were flat both in 2012 and the first quarter of 2013 compared to the prior year, in analyzing the over 400 different types of pizza we track in our system, our data indicates pizza displayed robust growth," said Bill Pecoriello, CEO of GuestMetrics LLC. "Looking at the performance of the pizza category in our system of table service restaurants, compared to the prior year, pizza sales were up 8.2 percent in 2012 and picked up further steam during the first quarter of 2013, growing 8.8 percent, resulting in pizza gaining about 20 basis points of share in the overall food category."

GuestMetrics studied more than 400 different types of pizzas sold. Flatbread pizza grew from about 8 percent in 2011 to 14 percent in 2012. Additionally in Q1 2013, flatbread pizza shares jumped to 17 percent.

"To put the importance of this in perspective, while non-flatbread pizzas were 83 percent of total pizza sales in Q1 13, about 60 percent of the incremental growth for pizza was due to strength in flatbread pizzas," said Peter Reidhead, vice president of strategy and insights at GuestMetrics.

Read more about trends and statistics.

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