Canada is on a roll and the pizza industry is in a great position to
support the buzzing patriotism of post-Olympic gold record bliss – a
feeling fuelled by our winning of the most gold medals ever in a Winter
Canada is on a roll and the pizza industry is in a great position to support the buzzing patriotism of post-Olympic gold record bliss – a feeling fuelled by our winning of the most gold medals ever in a Winter Games. To add gravy to our accomplishments, Canadians are also thought to have earned a record number of Oscar nominations in the award show’s history, with 17 nods this year. For a country of people customarily stereotyped to arrive as polite competitors rather than serious contenders, we’ve been putting ourselves on the map as a force to be reckoned with. March’s International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas may not have turned up any culinary golds for Canada but we showed what we already know – that Canadian pizzaiolos make word class pies – and served up commendable results.
We had three Canadians in the final round of the traditional division, with Canadian Pizza’s Chef of the Year Dave Housman of Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria finishing sixth overall. Chef of the Year runner-up Adrien Vachon of Fat Cat’s Pizza and Pasqualino Oliveri of The Grand Pizzeria secured the other two spots in the finals. Canada showed its stuff in the preliminaries of the non-traditional competition through Meghan O’Dea of Pi Gourmet Eatery, Kelson Panteluk of Diana’s Gourmet Pizzeria and Cory Medd of Two Guys and a Pizza Place. Congratulations to all Canadian independent pizzerias that showcased their craft on the fiercely competitive world stage of the International Pizza Challenge.
It was great to see how many attendees of the Pizza Expo trade show, coinciding with the International Pizza Challenge and World Pizza Games, approached the Canadian Pizza magazine booth, teased in good spirits about our men’s hockey win and mentioned how happy they were for Canada. The good feelings are running high. Now is a great time to support the nationalist sentiment in your pizzeria. How about offering special promotions on “Canadian” pizzas? Or creating some new dishes that are Canadian inspired? Support for the home front is high. The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) conducted a survey of Canadian chefs and the recently released results put locally sourced food at the top of the list of menu trends.
Patriotism, it seems, ages well, like fine wine. A national survey conducted in late 2009 showed a surprising gap between youth and elders in their attitudes towards patriotism. In the poll done by Leger Marketing, 62 per cent of respondents aged 18 to 24 said they were patriotic compared to 91 per cent of those aged 65 to 74 and 95 per cent of those over 75. On the whole, 77 per cent of people polled considered themselves patriotic.
Marketing patriotism has perhaps been most memorably exemplified by Molson Canadian with its I AM CANADIAN campaign that first aired in March of 2000 just after the Oscar dance routine for “Blame Canada” from the South Park movie. Six weeks into the campaign and Molson was up 1.6 points in the stock market and two points in market share, notes writer Robert M. Seiler in his case study on how Molson used patriotism to sell beer. It could be argued that the market is ripe for a resurgence of patriotism-flavoured promotions. If you’ve found a great way to combine patriotism and pizza in your store, please share your success story with Canadian Pizza magazine. We too are proudly Canadian! •
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