Editor's note: The following information is part of a countdown recap from the inaugural Top 100 Movers and Shakers publication. It was published in the spring of 2012. Some of the information may now be different.
Operators in every segment throughout the restaurant industry have sticker shock over commodity costs, and for good reason. A recent report from IBISWorld predicts commodity prices will continue rising through 2017, as they've done for the past five years. Namely, milk and wheat will rise, causing pizza operators' main ingredient costs to rise.
From 2007 to 2012, the world price of wheat increased an average of 3.4 percent per year. Milk, the main ingredient used in cheese, jumped more than 27 percent in 2010 alone, and 9.2 percent in 2011. Restaurateurs have either increased their prices or switched up their menus to deal with these mounting pressures, but profit margins and overall profits have still been affected.
Adding insult to injury, gas prices averaged nearly $1 more year-over-year in 2011.
But a majority of the pizza players successfully navigated the daunting commodities prices in the past year, and the segment continues to grow.
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