New data from Technomic shows that consumers eat pizza about 3.4 times per month. The market research firm attributes its popularity, in part, to expanded retail options and the emergence of the fast casual pizza segment.
Still, consumers said they want even more variety on pizza menus, according to a news release. This includes more toppings and more offerings, such as by-the-slice and portable pizza snacks.
Additionally, Technomic's research shows that quality and freshness are factoring more strongly into today's pizza purchasing decisions.
"Consumers are setting new standards for the quality and variety they expect," said Darren Tristano, EVP of Technomic. "The fast casual pizza segment is succeeding because it's matching customers' needs for quality, freshness and the ability to choose from among a broader selection of ingredients."
Tristano also says that for pizza operators to stay competitive and gain share, they'll have to strengthen the quality perception by promoting freshness and customization opportunities, while giving guests a more interesting range of toppings, crusts and other options that emphasize variety, the release said.
The Pizza Consumer Trend report also states that:
- Fast casual is driving the evolution of the pizza landscape: 55 percent of consumers purchase fast casual pizza at least once a month;
- Diners want more variety: 74 percent, up from 70 percent in 2012, say that a wide variety of toppings is important in creating a good pizza;
- Quality and freshness are drivers: 43 percent of consumers visit their preferred pizza concept because it uses fresh, high-quality ingredients; 84 percent say that fresh toppings are important.