Canadian Pizza Magazine

Features Business and Operations Marketing
From the Editor’s Desk: December 2008

Pizza can ride out the downturn


For almost four years now, Cam Wood has been the star quarterback of Canadian Pizza magazine’s editorial team. As editor, Cam reached out to every one of you in the industry, telling your stories, reporting your news and advocating on your behalf. I’m sorry to say that Cam has recently left the magazine, moving on to pursue other interests. I’m sure that all of you who got to know him personally, or through the pages of this magazine, will miss his passion, honesty and dedication to the business. I know I will. Many thanks Cam.

For almost four years now, Cam Wood has been the star quarterback of
Canadian Pizza magazine’s editorial team. As editor, Cam reached out to
every one of you in the industry, telling your stories, reporting your
news and advocating on your behalf. I’m sorry to say that Cam has
recently left the magazine, moving on to pursue other interests. I’m
sure that all of you who got to know him personally, or through the
pages of this magazine, will miss his passion, honesty and dedication
to the business. I know I will. Many thanks Cam.

Meanwhile, I’ve stepped up to the plate to get this issue into your
hands. Some of you will remember me as the guy who ran the magazine
before Cam. Although not actively involved over recent years, I have
continued to follow the business closely and with interest.

One of the important philosophies that Cam and I share is that this
magazine is dedicated to a part of the foodservice industry that has
its own unique interests and concerns. Serving a specialized product
such as pizza means serving a lot more cheese and tomato products than
the rest of the industry; creating and maintaining the pepperoni
industry, using more flour than anyone else – except for bakers, and
delivering more product more often to the front door than other
restaurants would ever dream of.

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We share many interests with others in foodservice but we are different
enough and important enough to warrant our own magazine. That’s why
Canadian Pizza magazine exists, to serve the needs of Canadian pizza
operators from coast to coast to coast. Our goal has been, and always
will be, to further the good of the pizza business and to help the
industry increase its share of the foodservice dollar. That goal has
never been more important than right now.

As we approach 2009, the economy is clearly everyone’s number one cause
for concern. The situation the auto industry finds itself in could
seriously impact Ontario and plummeting oil prices are having a show
stopping effect in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The outlook across the
remainder of the country is equally troubling. What does this mean for
Canada’s pizza makers?

As you might expect, there’s no easy answer. Generally speaking, we can
all anticipate a downturn in consumer spending on the foodservice
front, but I think that pizza is the one product with the best chance
of riding out the downturn. When it comes to value, pizza sits at the
top of the list. In spite of rising food costs, most pizza operators
have held their prices over the last few years. Operators can now
rightfully expect a decrease in food costs because of the decline in
fuel prices and those reduced fuel prices may even offset some of the
decline in consumer foodservice spending.

Pizza’s high value and desirability should mean that while times will
be tough, consumers will still be attracted to the product. At the end
of the day, pizza may be one of the most economical indulgences that
consumers will allow themselves in times of economic uncertainty.
That’s not to say that there will be no impact, but it will likely be
less severe than in other segments of the food service and hospitality
industry. Canada’s pizza makers should stay focused on what they do
best, knowing that they sell one of the most popular products ever
created. There’s no substitute for faith, hope and, of course, really
hard work. I hope you enjoy this issue.